Date: 07 September 2012
Members of the Lake Waikaremoana Hapu Restoration Trust received a huge shock earlier this week when they arrived at Whareama Peninsula on Lake Waikaremoana to find their rat and stoat traps destroyed.
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is also in a state of disbelief that someone would contemplate such a selfish act of vandalism. “The Lake Waikaremoana Hapu Restoration Trust work incredibly hard and this will certainly set their restoration programme on Whareama Peninsula back. The kind of vandalism demonstrated here is of a serious nature and is not acceptable” said DOC Field Centre Supervisor, Dale Tawa.
Lake Waikaremoana Hapu Restoration Trust stored the traps and boxes on Whareama Peninsula in Wairaumoana (the Wairau arm) of Lake Waikaremoana in preparation for employees to set trap lines out in the new kiwi sanctuary. “The damage to the traps and boxes is very significant. A large number of boxes and traps were burnt in a fire at the Whakenepuru Bay (Stump Bay) end of the fence while other boxes were riddled with bullet holes and many others were physically smashed said trust Operations Manager, Mr Robert Waiwai.
"What is really disappointing is that many volunteers gave their time to help the Lake Waikaremoana Hapu Restoration Trust make, and transport these traps across the Lake and this thoughtless act destroyed their work, just like that.”
The person(s) responsible would have accessed the area by boat and is likely to have camped at or near Whakenepuru Bay (Stump Bay), a favourite freedom camping area of many visiting boating families.
DOC and the Lake Waikaremoana Hapu Restoration Trust are asking the public to contact the Wairoa Police if anyone has any information that could help identify the person(s) responsible.
Vandalised rat and stoat traps displayed in the Lake Waikaremoana Hapu Restoration Trust workshop
DOC Aniwaniwa Field Centre Liaison: Aniwa Tawa Tel: + 64 6 837 3930
Lake Waikaremoana Hapu Restoration Trust Liaison: Lisa Waiwai Tel: +64 6 837 3700