Upper Hutt: Residents blame possum bait stations for pet poisonings

Residents blame possum bait stations for pet poisonings

by ANTONIO BRADLEY – Upper Hutt Leader

Last updated 05:00 02/09/2009
Maxine Robb with her cat Bouffey

NINE LIVES: Riverstone Terraces resident Maxine Robb with her cat Bouffey, who she believes was poisoned by possum bait stations near her property. Behind her is the pole where moreporks once perched before GWRC installed bait stations.


Veterinarian Andrew Cassells says it is “quite likely” brodifacoum poisoned the cat, but he did not test for poisoning because it was too expensive for the owners.

Some Upper Hutt residents claim the regional council’s possum bait is poisoning their cats and native birds, causing some to die and others to disappear.

Greater Wellington regional council’s business unit BioWorks placed the poison brodifacoum in Riverstone Terraces in April to decrease pest numbers.

Since then, Maidstone Veterinary Clinic has treated three poisoned cats – one of which was euthanised last month – and two poisoned dogs, all from Riverstone Terraces, a vet says.

Depending on the dose, brodifacoum can kill large animals such as dogs, he says.

But BioWorks contracts co-ordinator John Hopkirk says he doesn’t believe its brodifacoum is poisoning cats or native birds.

However, resident Maxine Robb believes her cat, Bouffey, was poisoned by brodifacoum in April after BioWorks installed bait stations on her and her partner’s property.

Within days the couple found shaking, half-dead rats within metres of their house, she says.

Soon after, Bouffey started bleeding from his gums.

Ms Robb took him to Maidstone Veterinary Clinic, believing he had eaten a poisoned rat.

Well heres my two cents worth…..

As a young lad, I run all over Craigs Flat as it was called then (now Riverstone Terraces) and it was farm land with encroaching regenerating native bush. The area was generally used for sheep and cattle grazing.

While we shouldn’t have been on farmland without permission, we loved the rabbits, possums and the wildlife and equally used it to gain access to Whakatiki Stream where we went swimming etc. The area though had huge possum numbers with sign everywhere.

Time moves on, and the River Terraces as a surburban development was built there right up against this regenerating native forest, no wonder given the appeal of the location and the splendid views.

But the problem was and still is Possum numbers, they are endemic. The difficulty lies in how we go about controlling them and the methods used.

I’m either or on this and see the difficulty GWRC has, and well as the concern of the residents.

But I have a solution, one that was on offer back 30 years ago when I roamed up there, bring back a tally for dead possum numbers paid by Regional Councils, killed humanly (no Gintraps like we used). Is it not valid employment in this recession.
Or perhaps the answer lies in that we as humans need to stop developing native bush buffer zones? Isolate, control, monitor and let nature take its course away from human beings and their pets

Mountain Buggy Redundancies in more detail

NZI Business this morning played an item on Mountain Buggy and its production moving offshore.

Unfortunately as our earlier reports have mentioned, it is exceedingly difficult for local manufacturers to compete against their business opponents if they are manufacturing offshore, especially in China.

Wages rates in China are the equivalent of about $100 US per month, and unattainable wage rate in NZ. Akin to nearly all manufacturers, including the new owners Phil & Teds, intellectual property is retained in New Zealand and production is moved overseas, generally to a lower cost base.

Lower Hutt: Dulux big reinvestment in modernising its factory

Mayor welcomes Dulux’s $28m investment in Hutt City

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mayor David Ogden today welcomed paint manufacturer Dulux’s announcement that it plans to invest $28m modernising its factory in Hutt City.

“Dulux has been part of our community for 70 years and a significant employer of local people,” he said.

“The decision of Dulux to reinvest in Hutt City strengthens our reputation for manufacturing and confirms this is a great place to invest.

“Especially in these challenging economic times, this, along with other examples such as Flight Group moving to the old Griffins site, inspires confidence that our city has a positive future.

“They all have an important role to play in helping to drive economic growth which will enable Hutt City to emerge quickly from the recession.

“Today’s announcement is wonderful news,” Mayor Ogden said.

More good economic news. What with the possible move of army personal to Trentham and as mentioned above the movement of the Flight Group to the old Griffins site the Hutt Valley has not totally lost its employment base. Resene another local company recently won an award for research (see video) against stiff competition. Local firm and family great work (those Christmas parties in the 1990s were legendary apparently)

There is no doubt in my mind that the Hutt Valley with its stable work force and large flat geography (space) provide avenues that are not available in other parts of the Wellington region. Some businesses are taking the opportunities in the current climate to reestablish or strengthen their positions. I’m very happy for them to see the Hutt Valley as a place to base themselves.

Trentham: Army staff may decamp to Hutt

Army staff may decamp to Hutt

By HANK SCHOUTEN – The Dominion Post

Last updated 05:00 27/08/2009

The proposals are outlined in papers issued under the Official Information Act to Rimutaka MP Chris Hipkins, and would have wide-ranging consequences for the Hutt Valley, Waiouru, Porirua and Wellington.

As many as 1000 more defence staff could be moved to Upper Hutt, as the Defence Force considers spending up to $110 million to redevelop the old Central Institute of Technology campus at Trentham.

via Stuff
The establishment of Trentham army camp last century certainly has heralded development opportunities for Upper Hutt for many years. This latest news will no doubt bring broad smiles to the UHCC, firstly that the old CIT buildings are been reused for a practical purpose and secondly the influx of people and families to Upper Hutt city as a direct result of this relocation.

The economic benefit to Upper Hutt is vast with the number involved around 1000, and the relocation of high paid defence personal from Wellington to Upper Hutt alone being significant.
No doubt a fair piece of logic was applied in this move, given Trentham Army base across the road. Unfortunately no time line is placed on this development and a lot of work will have to be undertaken on the old CIT campus to bring it up to speed, having been vacant for many years.

Upper Hutts gain unfortunately comes at other regions loss, but the benefits ongoing in the years ahead is vast, something that could only be akin to the old manufacturing factories that populated the city in the seventies which in recent years have closed down, downsized or moved away, General Motors and Pacific Tyres (Dunlops) coming to mind.

All we need now is confirmation, but Upper Hutt will be a buzz over this news.

Hutt Radio – Inaugral Public Meeting

You might ask what is Hutt Radio, it is the effort of a number of key players who have been trying for a number of years to establish a community based non commercial radio network in the Hutt Valley.

To gain a greater insight visit their website, but some background info is posted below along with details as to the meeting.

Eddie O’Strange is one of the key proponents and as part of the charter of the licence has called a public meeting to gauge public support as well as answer any questions.

If you are curious, can contribute, or just wish to attend, it would be greatly appreciated. 

But in brief, what is Hutt Radio all about:-


A terrestrial FM station for the Hutt Region, New Zealand.

Our focus is the Hutt Region. Our coverage: Greater Wellington.

Station site: Lower Hutt. Transmitter site: Mt KauKau.

Demographics Target:

The middle-aged and elderly. [This makes us unique among the 30-plus radio stations in this airspace.]

Hutt Radio is a community station. A “non-commercial” licence. The second “access” station in Greater Wellington’s airspace.

In industry jargon, here’s WHAT HUTT RADIO IS:

“Hutt Radio is a mature market, Hutt-centric, interactive, subscriber-based, non-commercial, heritage station, serving as the hub for flow-on components.”

The meeting:-


Sunday 30th August, TAITA  RSA, 14 Tocker Street
2 pm start-time — hopefully wrapped by about 3.15 pm
(There will be time after this to meet, to mix and mingle.)

A strong show of support is needed to get this valuable Hutt Region asset underway. A well-attended gathering
will help with funding issues, and will satisfy some of the licensing requirements of various Government agencies.

At the same time, YOU will find out whatever you want to know about Hutt Radio. Questions will be welcome!

You can just turn up, but we’d prefer you to “RSVP”.
Eddie: blue.smoke@actrix.co.nz  Phone 565-3164

   Website:  http://www.huttcity.com/huttradio/
*Join the Trustees, the Patrons, and Local Dignitaries*

Upper Hutt: Akatarawa Road Bridges to be replaced

The Upper Hutt City Council has programmed the replacement of the three wooden bridges on Akatarawa Road (situated a short distance either side of Staglands) over the next five years. Just yesterday one of our readers witnessed and accident at this very bridge.

Those that use this road regularly are well aware that these bridges pose traffic problems on what is already a dangerous road to travel.  The first bridge will be replaced in mid to late 2010.

The bridges are believed to have been constructed in the 1920’s. During a routine inspection two years ago they all showed signs of deterioration within the wood work. While a considerable amount of structural repair work has been undertaken on the bridges all three have reached the end of their economical life and need to be replaced.
The new bridges will be built to a more durable design and have two lanes, providing some width for pedestrians, cyclists etc. Disruptions may occur, but wherever possible the City Council will try to to minimise the impact on residents and motorists. Retaining one of the bridges as a heritage structure will also be investigated.

The bridge for replacement in the 2009/10 financial year is the first one from Upper Hutt, just before the Wellesley Country Club, and is the most critical for access to residents and businesses past this point.

The middle (weight restricted) bridge and the bridge at the foot of the summit will follow in 2011/12 and 2013/14 respectively.
The Council is very aware that these bridges provide essential access to the residents and businesses along Akatarawa Road and whilst every endeavour will be made to keep disruptions to a minimum during the construction there may be times when it is not possible to maintain full vehicle access. If this should happen contingency plans will be discussed with residents/businesses affected.

Daly Street Apartments Live again

Daly Street Apartments have risen from the ashes.

The apartment development in Lower Hutt has been taken over by another developer looking to finally get it off the ground.

The backstory on the development was that the property group Merge was the original developer in March 2008 declaring that it had sold 26 of the the 28 apartments. Prices ranged from $630,000 to $1.5 million for a penthouse.

The projet stalled because of lack of working capital and Merge approached the Hutt City Council for financial support. Councilors initially approved a $1.7 million loan to support the $22.5m project sighting it supported inner city development. This was then cancelled in the face of public outrage when it become public.

Peter Savage,a director of City living Group, confirmed this week his company had taken over the Daly Street Project. He declined to say how much he had paid to Merge Group.

Mr Savage said the entire project was under review and it was not possible to say when work would begin. However, his company had been in touch with all the previous apartment buyers and was looking at all aspects of the building and elements of design.

Lower Hutt: River realignment to affect Mill Street and popular Walking area

Despite angry and strenuous objections from Lower Hutt Mayor David Ogden, Greater Wellington Regional Council will proceed with consultation on the taking of houses for the Mill Street stopbank and the narrowing of the dog-walking area alongside State Highway 2 north of Melling.

GWRC’s Hutt River Advisory Subcommittee, which includes three Hutt City councillors as well as mayors and regional councillors, earlier this month decided to approve “in principle” the flood protection works that only recently came to light, surprising and angering locals.

Recently GWRC told 14 Mills Street residents that up to a dozen houses might have to be bowled to make way for a straightening of a bend in the Boulcott-Connolly Street stopbank that engineers say constricts the river.

But flood protection manager Graeme Campbell told the subcommittee that it was wrong to suggest, as reported from the residents’ meeting, that up to 40 houses along Connolly Street might have to go.

He also assured a Rotary clubs delegation that the Hutt River walking trail along the right, or western bank, built by Rotarians, would be recreated in the remaining narrow corridor between the river and a possibly widened highway.

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Engineers believe the river-channel widening is required to slow floodwaters as much as possible opposite the floodplain-encroaching Transpower electricity substation and Safeway Storage buildings before it reaches Melling Bridge. But it means the park-like river verge now used by dog-walkers and many others for open space recreation will be lost to a new river berm and heavy river-slowing vegetation plantings.

Rotary Club of Hutt City member Robin Maud made a public submission for all nine Hutt Valley clubs, saying they agreed flood protection is paramount. However, the river corridor had evolved into a public recreation zone that should be preserved as much as possible in any new works.

“The results of your determinations here will affect whatever future generations will have for recreation in that area,” Mr Maud said.

Residents of the Western Hills did not have many flat reserves among their suburbs, and a large number of people from the hills came down to the river bank for recreation of all types along the river, not just dog walking.

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Rotary’s submission says alternatives dismissed by engineers, and other new ones, should continue to be investigated. Among their points were:

* The right (western) bank along this reach was the most highly-used section along the entire river, with over 100,000 visits per year.

* GWRC had not properly considered retreating the eastern bank, which had less recreation appeal.

* There were other river control measures such as rock lining and groynes that would allow retaining a wider berm and more views.

* The Transpower substation would have to be moved sometime in the future and then the right bank could be preserved.

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Rotary wanted GWRC to retain the maximum right-bank berm, ensure access points on the right bank to the river and beaches, maintain river views, and minimise buffer planting, which screened river views.

Above all, Mr Maud said, it wanted to be assured this was a preliminary decision, and GWRC would engage in wide community consultation. The council had already been very cooperative, he said. GWRC flood protection officers gave committee members an assurance that they would do so.

A few Mills Street residents came to the meeting, but didn’t speak publicly, saying they were there to observe the council’s processes. They had expressed shock and anger to the meeting that told them their houses were now, they had said, worthless, unsaleable and not worth continuing to put money into maintaining until GWRC took them and paid them compensation under the Public Works Act.

Mayor Ogden told them, ”I’m sorry you’ve been put through what you have been put through. I’m pretty perturbed about it, and needless to say it’s not good enough.”

Flood protection engineer Jacky Cox said a number of flood works designs had been investigated and this was only a starting point for consultation.

The river could not be deepened because of erosion danger, and the need to maintain a constant river gradient and level as at 1998. The left (eastern) bank was not considered for channel widening because it already had an established vegetation ”buffer zone”, removal of which would cause greater erosion. There was much more room available on the right (western) bank for a wider channel, buffer zone and berm. Rock lining was a possible alternative to a large vegetation buffer zone on the right bank.

After a lot of questioning, but no discussion or statements by councillors, committee chairman and Hutt Valley regional councillor Sandra Greig put the motion and immediately said ”All in favour?” But Mayor Ogden said he’d like to speak to the motion.

He said he wouldn’t vote for the motion because it showed ”a lack of foresight and consideration of other options. I know we are the largest populated floodplain in the country and flood defences are paramount. I’m not going to vote for it because of the impact it may have on the Waimare Croquet Club and Mills Street.”

Cr Ian Buchanan, chairman of the catchment management committee that will also have to approve the measures, said ”This is not a final decision, we’re just agreeing to [the engineers’] preferred option. This is about them consulting; those who are concerned should take heart” and a different result could happen.

Councillors worried about what the consultation process would be, as there is no formal requirement for one under council rules, but the motion passed with only Mr Ogden’s nay.

Later, in discussion of the Boulcott, Mills and Connolly Streets stop banks, Mr Ogden again chided officers for the ”suffering” caused to Mills Street residents by the officers’ ”secrecy.

”As a long-time Hutt Valley resident, I never heard of Mills Street having to be taken.”

He pointed to the Belmont Flats residential neighbourhood which had successfully resisted GWRC attempts to increase flood protection but was still there as an encroachment on the river. (Not mentioned at the meeting, but implied in council papers, the Safeway site is also a floodplain encroachment that GWRC could order removed by the designation process.) The committee wasn’t asked to vote on Mills St.

But Mr Ogden said, ”This is a mistake by GWRC.” It wasn’t necessary to take the Mills St houses, and the stopbank didn’t have to be of the same larger construction as the new Ewen-Ava one. He said he wants the engineers to find another solution to save the houses. He was there as the residents’ voice on the issue and it wasn’t a political fight between Hutt City Council and the regional council.

”I know you think I’m always coming here and complaining, but it’s fertile plains to complain about. I’m very disappointed to have to come and do it.”

Lower Hutt: More redundancies hit Hutt Valley

Announced late today two Lower Hutt firms, laundry powder manufacturer Unilever will make 33 people redundant, while furniture maker Formway will shed 50 staff.

Formway chief executive Alan Buckner says the company, which opened in the 1950s, and recently won design award has decided to outsource its manufacturing and focus on design, sales and marketing.

Formway hopes 15 to 20 people will be offered jobs with the company it is outsourcing to but does see overall job losses.

Lower Hutt – Mills Street houses affected by Stopbank move

“It’s been a bolt from the blue,” said Matthew Flood, a resident of Mills St, Boulcott, for 37 years.

Residents had not been properly consulted on a Greater Wellington regional council plan to move a stopbank east, meaning up to 12 homes would go, he said.

“The bigwigs decided our homes should be bulldozed simply because we’re in the way.”

Flood protection manager Graeme Campbell said the council needed to move the stopbank to boost its flood protection.

The Hutt River was narrow near Mills St and there were fears the existing stopbank would not cope with a severe flood. “We just can’t afford a failure in the defences.”

A big flood in 1898 had prompted the building of stopbanks. The council was now considering two options.

One was to move the stopbank 30 metres to the east, meaning four homes would have to be shifted.

The second was to move it further, placing eight more homes in the firing line.

The council hoped to confirm its plan by the end of this week, Mr Campbell said.

Homes would be bought and moved, rather than bulldozed, he said. If homeowners refused to sell, land could be seized and compensation paid under the Public Works Act.

Mr Flood said he had never seen the stopbank threatened by a flood.

“The natural flow of the river curves away from Mills St, so any scouring is more likely to affect the opposite bank.”

A Mills St resident of 57 years, Tse Wk, said the council’s plans were not essential and a blow to the whole street. “I’ve got no idea why they want to do it.” A simpler option would be to clear the riverbanks of rubbish and debris.

The council has held two meetings with Mills St residents.

Hutt River advisory subcommittee member Peter Glensor said any work was five to 10 years away.

The matter came to a head when a Mills St house went up for sale two months ago and was bought by the council, Mr Glensor said.

“We didn’t think it was reasonable for someone to buy it, then be told of the situation.”