Notification to Concessionaires and others – Kia Wharite goat control in the Te Mata block

Health and Safety Information
The Department of Conservation has employed contractors to perform goat control in the Te Mata block (see map below). This work has been part of the Department’s core programme since the Kia Whārite partnership with Horizons was formed in 2008. Goats were identified as having a significant effect on forest health within the Whanganui National Park.

Ground hunting within the Te Mata block has now resumed under COVID-19 Level 2. Some work is opposite the Bridge to Nowhere track but not in close proximity. As part of our employment of contractors, health and safety is still a critical component, particularly in high use areas. The Department ensures that contractors are compliant in this space and monitors their work throughout the life of their contracts. Due to the high use of the Mangapurua track, high standards of health and safety are in place to ensure the safety of the public and hunters alike.

Specific details on health and safety awareness
Contractors employed are professional and experienced hunters. Consideration of public health and safety is upheld between the Department and its contractors at all times. No goat control occurs on or in close proximity to the public tracks, campsites or the Bridge to Nowhere. Any goats seen towards the track or campsites are not controlled. Due to the terrain, contracted hunters may at times need to cross the public tracks to access other areas of the forest. They will be carrying firearms in a safe manner. Hunters are clearly identifiable and wear hi vis vests for visibility to the public and other hunters. Often, they may wear a branded t-shirt of the company they work for.

All carcasses are left well away from public areas.

Hunters have an exemption for the use of certain firearms to control goats. They use a suppressor to reduce noise disturbance and for health and safety of the hunters themselves. If any incidents occur, contractors are obligated to report this to the Department immediately, or as soon as practical. These are investigated as required. Hunters should be happy to discuss the work they’re doing and why.

Timeframe
Contractors will be controlling goats within these areas between 31st May to 30th June 2020.

For concessionaire’s clients: Please ensure your clients are aware that they may hear firearms, sometimes several shots if hunters come across a mob of goats – please do not be alarmed. Sound can travel significant distances and be perceived as loud, particularly if hunters are working from ridges.

If clients come across hunters with firearms, please do not be alarmed. Our contractors acknowledge not all people are comfortable around firearms, and we advocate that they inform the public of what they are doing and why.

Any questions or enquiries, please direct to:
Department of Conservation, Whanganui Office
Ph: 06 349 2100 or email whanganui@doc.govt.nz

 

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