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Hunua parks are all open

Caution period remains in place

Published: 5 October 2018

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Hunua Ranges pest control updates.

UPDATED 14 OCTOBER | All Hunua Ranges parks are open

All parkland in the Hunua Ranges has reopened, including Hunua Ranges, Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks, following the aerial pest control (1080) programme.

A caution period will remain in place for some months, until we can be sure all traces of the toxin are gone from the environment. This refers particularly to baits or carcasses in the most hard-to-reach places and sheltered from the elements that assist in breaking them down. 

A full water testing programme has been carried out across the parkland and on water reservoirs and no tests have returned positive for the 1080 toxin.

Important information:

  • Visitors to the open areas of the park and reserve lands should observe information and warning signs. Dogs and young children are particularly at risk from 1080 poisoning.
  • Dog owners are advised to avoid taking dogs into the operational area until the caution period is over and warning signs are removed.
  • Those who choose to bring their dogs to areas of the parks (where dogs are allowed) or near to the operational area should supervise them closely to prevent scavenging of carcasses and consider muzzling the dog if off-lead.
  • To protect against kauri dieback disease, some high-risk tracks in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park are closed. A Controlled Area Notice is also in place across the native forest area of the Hunua Ranges Regional Park and adjoining Department of Conservation-administered lands. You must always use hygiene stations to clean and disinfect all footwear and equipment to ensure that you do not carry any visible soil into the Controlled Area.

For more information, including park closure details, see our website or phone 09 301 0101.

UPDATED 5 OCTOBER | Hunua Falls reopens

The Hunua Falls area, and the Cossey-Massey Loop Track, have re-opened to the public following the completion of the Hunua pest control programme. The rest of the parklands remain closed.

Auckland Council’s Manager Regional Parks, Rachel Kelleher says Hunua Falls was excluded from the toxic 1080 bait application area and has been reopened first to allow public access over the weekend.

“People are keen to get back into the Hunua Ranges regional parklands after the closures for the pest control programme and Hunua Falls is a popular weekend destination, so we’ve opened this area ahead of the weekend.

“The Cossey-Massey Loop was treated as part of the pest control operation, but thorough track clearance work has now been completed on this track.

“The rest of the parklands, which includes Hunua Ranges, Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks, will stay closed for a few more days while the final track clearance work is completed,” she says.

Important information:

  • Visitors to the open areas of the park and reserve lands should observe information and warning signs. Dogs and young children are particularly at risk from 1080 poisoning.
  • Dog owners are advised to avoid taking dogs into the operational area until the caution period is over and warning signs are removed.
  • Those who choose to bring their dogs to areas of the parks (where dogs are allowed) or near to the operational area should supervise them closely to prevent scavenging of carcasses and consider muzzling the dog if off-lead.
  • To protect against kauri dieback disease, a Controlled Area Notice is in place across the native forest area of the Hunua Ranges Regional Park and adjoining Department of Conservation-administered lands. You must always use hygiene stations to clean and disinfect all footwear and equipment to ensure that you do not carry any visible soil into the Controlled Area.

For more information, including park closure details, see our website or phone 09 301 0101.

 

UPDATED 28 SEPTEMBER | Hunua pest control operation complete, parks remain closed

Auckland Council’s pest control operation in the Hunua Ranges parklands, neighbouring Department of Conservation administered reserves and some private land, is now complete.

Aerial application of bait containing 1080 was carried out yesterday within block two of the 23,000 hectares of forest covered by the operation. This followed the application across the first block last weekend.

The Hunua Ranges, Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks and tracks within the neighbouring DOC reserves are all closed and will remain closed until an extensive track clearance programme is conducted.  

The water supply reservoirs (Wairoa and Mangatawhiri) in block two of the treatment area were isolated from the public water supply ahead of the toxic bait application commencing.

“These reservoirs will not be returned to service until a comprehensive water monitoring programme has been completed with consecutive samples showing no 1080 has been detected, and until we get approval from the Medical Officer of Health that it is safe to do so," says Mace Ward, Auckland Council General Manager, Parks, Sport and Recreation.

“All the test results from water monitoring after the first stage of operation returned no detection of 1080.

“While the operation is now complete, the park remains closed. When the parks do open back up, at some stage next week, this will be under caution and visitors must observe information and warning signs at all times. The caution period will be in place for some months," he says.

“We are pleased to have been able to complete the operation prior to the beginning of the school holidays, and in time for the kōkako breeding season, and we are now looking forward to seeing the benefits for the native flora and fauna within the forest.

“Applying 1080 is a significant change to day-to-day management of the forest and we are thankful to the local community and nearby landowners for their patience, understanding and support.”

Important information:

  • When the parks do reopen, visitors to the park and reserve lands should observe information and warning signs. Dogs and young children are particularly at risk from 1080 poisoning.
  • Dog owners are advised to avoid taking dogs into the operational area until the caution period is over and warning signs are removed.
  • Those who choose to bring their dogs to areas of the parks (where dogs are allowed) or near to the operational area should supervise them closely to prevent scavenging of carcasses and consider muzzling the dog if off-lead.
  • To protect against kauri dieback disease, a Controlled Area Notice is in place across the native forest area of the Hunua Ranges Regional Park and adjoining Department of Conservation-administered lands. You must always use hygiene stations to clean and disinfect all footwear and equipment to ensure that you do not carry any visible soil into the Controlled Area.

For more information, including park closure details, see our website or phone 09 301 0101.

UPDATED 27 SEPTEMBER | Final phase underway

The final phase of the Auckland Council’s pest control operation in the Hunua Ranges parklands, neighbouring Department of Conservation administered reserves and some private land, is underway. 

Aerial application of bait containing 1080 began this morning within block two of the 23,000 hectares of forest covered by the operation. This follows the treatment of the first block over the weekend.

The Hunua Ranges, Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks and tracks within the neighbouring DOC reserves are all closed. They will remain closed while a rigorous track clearance programme is conducted.

The second block contains the Wairoa and Mangatawhiri dam catchments. The water supply reservoirs in the treatment area were isolated from the public water supply ahead of the toxic bait application commencing. 

These will not be returned to service until a comprehensive water monitoring programme has been completed with consecutive samples showing no 1080 has been detected, and until the Medical Officer of Health has confirmed that it is safe to do so.

Watercare carried out extensive water monitoring after the first stage of the operation in the weekend, and the test results all returned no detection of 1080.

Other safety measures around the water supply include exclusion zones around and no flying over the reservoirs.

For more information, including park closure details, see our website or phone 09 301 0101.

UPDATED 23 SEPTEMBER | Operation underway

The second phase of the Auckland Council’s pest control operation in the Hunua Ranges parklands, neighbouring Department of Conservation administered land reserves and some private land, is underway.

Aerial application of bait containing 1080 began this weekend within the first block of the 23,000 hectares of forest covered by the operation.

In order to manage such a large area and protect water supply reservoirs, the operational area is divided into two blocks.

The Cossey and Mangatangi catchments will be treated as the first block, and the Wairoa and Mangatawhiri catchments treated as the second.

This follows the aerial application of non-toxic pre-feed to the entire operational area on 6 and 7 September.

The Hunua Ranges, Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks and tracks within the neighbouring DOC reserves are all closed and will not be reopened until the operation is complete, and a rigorous track clearance programme is carried out.

Water supply reservoirs in block one of the treatment area were isolated from the public water supply ahead of the toxic bait application commencing this morning. 

These will not be returned to service until a comprehensive water monitoring programme has been completed with consecutive samples showing no 1080 has been detected, and until the Medical Officer of Health has confirmed that it is safe to do so.

Other safety measures around the water supply include exclusion zones around and no flying over the reservoirs.

For more information, including park closure details, see our website or phone 09 301 0101.

UPDATED 21 SEPTEMBER | Regional park closures

The Hunua Ranges (including the Hunua Falls), Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks are currently closed in preparation for the commencement of the operation, as weather permits.  

Further updates will be provided on this page and at the Auckland Council website over the coming days.

UPDATED 14 September | Status of court proceedings

The council, joined by the Department of Conservation and other programme partners, presented evidence and made submissions to the Environment Court on 13 and 14 September in response to an application for an enforcement order to prevent the aerial Hunua pest management programme being carried out.

The court reserved its decision until next Friday (or sooner if the judge and commissioners are able to deliver their decision earlier than that). The temporary injunction that currently applies has been extended.

Any decisions about delivering the Hunua programme will be dependent on the court’s decision and, if in the council’s favour, the weather forecast. The right wind conditions and a fine weather window on either side of the bait application are required.

UPDATED 7 September | Stage one complete

The first phase of the pest control operation in the Hunua Ranges parklands, neighbouring Department of Conservation (DOC) administered land reserves and some private land, is complete. Parkland is now open again.

The operation is undertaken by Auckland Council in partnership with DOC.

Aerial application of non-toxic pre-feed began on 6 September across the whole  23,000-hectare (approximately) operational area.

Full details of Hunua Project 1080 pest management project.

Non-toxic pre-feed bait
Non-toxic pre-feed cereal baits.

The pre-feed familiarises pest animals with the cereal baits, prior to the application of baits containing 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate), in seven to 10 days’ time.

A satellite navigation system (GPS) and custom-designed bait applicators is being used to distribute bait (by helicopter) across the operational area.

The Hunua Ranges, Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks and tracks within the neighbouring DOC reserves are closed while the pre-feed application is carried out and will reopen when it is completed.

For more information, including park closure details, see our website or phone 09 301 0101.

Important information

  • 1080 is a deadly toxin – anyone visiting the ranges must observe warning signage and ensure that children do not touch or eat the toxic baits.
  • Dogs are also at risk – if you must visit the ranges (where dogs are permitted), supervise your dog at all times and do not allow it to scavenge baits or carcasses. If you suspect your dog has been poisoned, induce vomiting and immediately go to a vet.
  • The treatment area is around 23,000 hectares and includes Hunua Ranges, Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks; the Department of Conservation (DOC) administered Mataitai Forest Conservation Area, Tai Rawhiti Scenic Reserve, Papa Turoa Scenic Reserve, Whakatiri Scenic Reserve, Plows Road Conservation Area, Paparimu Conservation Area, Mangatawhiri Forest Conservation Area, Vining Scenic Reserve and Richard Sylvan Memorial Reserve and some adjoining private land.
  • The area has been divided into two blocks which will be treated as follows:
    • Application of non-toxic pre-feed bait to the whole operational area.
    • Application of toxic bait (containing 1080) to block one (7-10 days after the pre-feed).
    • Application of toxic bait to block two (there will be at least two days between the treatment of blocks one and two).
  • The regional parks and the tracks on DOC land will be closed while bait is applied and until a rigorous track clearance programme has been completed.
  • Helicopters will not fly over the public water reservoirs; setbacks are in place around the reservoirs and the supply from the reservoirs to the water treatment plant will be disconnected while each block is being treated. Reservoirs will not be returned to service until extensive monitoring has been carried out and the water has tested clear. 

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