Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Assault Charge Dismissed Against Coromandel 1080 Activist

In the Thames District Court yesterday, Judge Greg Hollister-Jones dismissed a charge of common assault brought by the New Zealand Police against Graeme Sturgeon of Coromandel.

The unprofessional and confrontational methods used by the DoC security guard, in opening Sturgeon's car door forcibly, with a surprise move, without identifying himself, appeared to tip the balance in the judge's mind to decide that Sturgeon's actions from the moment the door was opened were made in self-defence.

At dusk on 17th October, 2017, Sturgeon and two companions had been alerted to a clandestine 1080 poison loading operation in the Whitianga CBD and went to observe and take photographs.

Driving into the unlit public carpark, Sturgeon stopped his car when coming across trucks loaded with bags of 1080 baits at the back of the Liquor King building, adjacent to residences and supermarkets.

The Court established that Sturgeon was then dragged out of his car by a Department of Conservation guard and a scuffle ensued.

The security guard hired by the Department of Conservation did not have a current Certificate of Approval from the Security Licencing Authority and was untrained in 'crowd control'. He works as a spray contractor for the Waikato Regional Council.

Due to the lack of lighting in the bait-loading area, there were difficulties knowing exactly what happened, as two witnesses did not have full and complete views. Sturgeon had first put in a complaint of assault against the guard stating he had punched him in the nose and dragged him forcibly from his car, without identifying who he was. Then after a lengthy wait, the Police charged Sturgeon with common assault.

CCTV footage showed Sturgeon trying to close his car door to protect himself against his unknown attacker. The car door was wrenched open for a second time by the guard. The guard appeared to have a paranoid mind set believing that Sturgeon posed a threat and might have had a gun in his car.

In his evidence, the guard made a number of statements that proved false under cross-examination.
Photos show Sturgeon with a bloody nose and ripped clothes.

Police and the security guard referred to “protestors” while the activists referred to themselves as “witnesses” whose intention was to observe and record the aerial drop of 1080.

The Department of Conservation had secretly stored 23,700kgs of 1080 poison baits in a warehouse in the Liquor King building from June 2017 through to October 17th when the baits were loaded in preparation for the drop over the Kaimamara Valley, which is the source of Whitianga's town water supply.

No warning signs or barriers were put in place to deter the public from entering the public carpark while the ecotoxic baits were being loaded. The smell of the volatile gases alerted local residents.

Official Information requests showed that DoC did not inform local authorities about this bulk storage, including the local fire chief. If there was a fire, toxic hydrogen fluoride gas would be released, and the town would have to be evacuated.

PoisonFreeCoromandel believes that PredatorFree2050 is an ideological mission which is becoming increasingly militarised.

Now who will hold the Department of Conservation to account for its many breaches of health and safety regulations and legal statutes?


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Housing Issues: Fairer Rules For Tenants And Landlords

The key changes include:

- Limit rent increases to once every 12 months and banning the solicitation of rental bids by landlords.

- Improve tenant’s security by removing a landlord’s right to use no cause terminations to end a periodic tenancy agreement...

- Improve compliance with the law by increasing financial penalties and introducing new tools to take direct action against parties who are not meeting their obligations. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Farming Sector’s Persecution Complex

The narrative that our farmers are ‘doing it tough’ plays into a number of wellworn stereotypes ... More>>

ALSO:

corrections, prisonCorrections: Independent Review Of Prisoner Mail Management

The independent review into the prisoner mail system has today been released, with Corrections accepting all 13 recommendations and making a number of changes to strengthen the management of prisoner mail. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Unlawful Detention Of Teenager; Influence Of Investigation

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that former Inspector Hurimoana Dennis unlawfully detained an Auckland teenager in 2015, and improperly influenced the outcome of a criminal investigation into his own son in 2014. More>>

ALSO:

SOP For Gun Bill: New Measures For Modified Pistols

The new controls will • Prohibit short-barrelled semi-automatic rifles which currently are defined as pistols because they are shorter than 762 millimetres. • Introduce tighter controls over pistol carbine conversion kits… • Prohibit firearms which contain a part known as a centrefire lower receiver… More>>

'Culturally Arranged Visitors Visa': Fix For Marriage Visa Issue

Earlier this year Immigration New Zealand issued guidance to front line Immigration staff that made it significantly harder for people to get visas to visit their partner. That guidance no longer applies with today’s announcement. More>>

ALSO:

Conflict Of Interest For Key Member: Budget Data Breach Investigation Shut Down

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today terminated the investigation into how Budget-sensitive material was accessed at the Treasury and appointed a new inquirer. More>>

RNZ Report: Mysterious Foundation Loaning NZ First Money

A mysterious foundation that loans money to New Zealand First is under scrutiny, with a university law professor saying although it's lawful, it fails to provide the transparency voters need in a democracy. More>>

Justice: Criminal Cases Review Commission Established

“We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, even with rights of appeals, and there needs to be a chance for the innocent on the right grounds to seek a final review of their case...” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels