Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Rena oil spill could take years for wildlife/envi to recover

Rena oil spill could take years for wildlife and environment to recover, WWF

Conservation organisation WWF-New Zealand says it could take many years before the full impact of the Rena oil spill on birds and other wildlife is known.

Maritime New Zealand today reported hundreds of dead oiled birds had been found, and 92 were being cared for at the National Oiled Wildlife Recovery Centre.

WWF-New Zealand Marine Advocate Bob Zuur is working as part of the National Oiled Wildlife Recovery team in the Bay of Plenty. Speaking this afternoon from the beach at Mount Maunganui, he said:

“We’ve been scaling the rocks looking for wildlife, it’s difficult to see the birds and they appear frightened. We’ve rescued three little blue penguins, but collected many more dead birds. Penguins don’t normally come ashore during the day, the ones we’re finding are pretty ill.”

He said that as penguins come to shore at night, it was likely more live oiled penguins would be recovered by rescue teams this evening after night-fall.

WWF is deeply concerned for wildlife affected by the spill. Mr Zuur said: “We saw a shag about 20 metres off shore, flapping in the water, trying to clean itself - it couldn’t fly, it couldn’t dive, it didn’t know what to do, and we couldn’t reach it. It was heartbreaking.”

Mr Zuur said that petrels were the most common species he and his team had discovered dead: “The majority of birds we’re finding dead are diving petrels, and also penguins and shags. Many of these birds are nesting at this time of year.”

He said some of the dead birds could only be identified by their wingspan, and were so covered in the tacky oil they were otherwise ‘unrecognisable’.

WWF is particularly concerned about the endangered New Zealand dotterel and the fairy terns. “The NZ dotterel and the fairy tern are already threatened and it’s possible that if the situation worsens, the local population could be severely depleted,” said Mr Zuur. WWF has welcomed the news that the National Oiled Wildlife Centre had pre-emptively caught some New Zealand dotterels deemed at risk.

“There are around 1500 New Zealand dotterels, in lots of little local populations, found on open coastal shores. There are only a couple of dozen New Zealand dotterels in the population near Maketu.”

Along with concerns for wildlife, WWF warned that the full extent of the environmental disaster may not be realised for some time, and is likely to worsen. WWF will continue to support wildlife recovery and restoration efforts and to offer technical support and assistance in this emergency response phase.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Cyclone Gita: Metservice Forecasts Gita To Impact New Zealand - Be Prepared

Cyclone Gita is expected to approach New Zealand from the northwest early next week. There remains some uncertainty with regards to the speed and track of Gita, but the passage of this system across New Zealand on Tuesday and Wednesday is likely to bring a period of highly impactful severe weather.

People should be aware of the potential for coastal inundation, especially where high waves,low atmospheric pressure and strong onshore winds come together ... More>>




Commerce, Etc: Thicker Bright Line For Real Estate

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed the bright-line test on residential property sales will be extended from two years to five years in legislation currently making its way through Parliament.More>>


Prison Inspections: Reports on Manawatu and Paremoremo Released

The Office of the Inspectorate today released reports into Manawatu Prison and Auckland Prison (Paremoremo), the first two resulting from a programme of inspections of New Zealand prisons. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Leadership Contest

National needs a new leader able to: (a) compete with, undermine and defeat a currently popular and politically adept Prime Minister; (b) define whether National now sees itself as being a traditional conservative party or a modern neo-liberal one; (c) devise a strategy that addresses National’s chronic lack of a viable coalition partner More>>


Whistle Blowers: Government To Review Law On Protection

Work has begun on a review of the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. More>>


Christchurch: PM Launches 100% Electric Car Share Offering

The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest deployment of pure battery electric cars and largest pure EV car sharing model was officially launched in Christchurch today by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. More>>


Carer Pay Equity: Mental Health And Addiction Workers To Be Included

Dr Clark met yesterday with unions and employers to confirm the Government has agreed to negotiate an agreement to extend the Care and Support Pay Equity Settlement to mental health and addiction support workers. More>>


Hybrid Plan: America’s Cup Village Proposal Released

The proposal incorporates elements of the Wynyard Basin option, agreed by the council in December and publicly notified last month, and the Wynyard Point variant explored by the Government. More>>


Sallies' State of the Nation: Poorest Left Behind in Economic Boom

This year’s report shows that for many New Zealanders incomes have hardly moved, welfare needs have increased and rents are rising faster than incomes. This comes despite more jobs being created and GDP rising... More>>





Featured InfoPages