Home' Rangitikei Mail : June 21st 2012 Contents 2 THURSDAY, JUNE 21, 2012
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Opinion . .
. . Page8
Rural . .
. . Pages28-29
Arts/Entertainment Pages 30 - 31
Sport - Pages 32 - 34
. . Pges34-38
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on track yet
By MATHEW GROCOTT
In the short term, things are looking bleak
for train lovers.
The campaign to save the Capital Con-
nection is still running at full steam but
there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
A petition is circulating and the reten-
tion of the service has the backing of
Horizons and Greater Wellington regional
councils but the New Zealand Transport
Agency is not budging.
And there's where things go off line.
To save the train the two councils and
the agency need to agree to a plan to pro-
vide a subsidy to KiwiRail, which runs the
service, within the next few weeks.
KiwiRail has said that without such
support the Capital Connection stop -- too
much money is being lost.
However, the transport agency
maintains the train does not meet its cri-
teria for funding and the government
agency does not look like budging.
Money for public transport is aimed at
alleviating congestion on roads and the
transport agency says that is not a prob-
lem between Waikanae and Manawatu. So
where to next?
It may well be that in a few weeks
commuters to Wellington will have to
choose between going back to using their
cars to get to work or catching a bus to
Waikanae and then a Wellington Metro
If passenger numbers are lagging now,
it's fair to guess they'll drop even further if
the Connection is replaced by a half-train,
half-bus hybrid timetable.
It's similar to the situation small towns
on The Overlander's route face. Twelve
stations, including Feilding, Marton and
Levin, face the chop with KiwiRail saying
they could be reinstated if demand rises.
However, it's pretty tricky to increase
demand for a service no longer available.
Bovine TB or not to be
By ZARYD WILSON
1080 debate: A 1080 drop on the Hihitahi Sanctuary has annoyed some
people in the area.
Photo: FAIRFAX NZ
A 1080 drop on the Hihitahi Sanc-
tuary due this month has
opponents of the pest control
method annoyed, while conserva-
tionists say there is nothing to
In New Zealand 1080 is used to
eradicate pests such as possums
and stoats which are carriers of
bovine tuberculosis and can
spread the disease to livestock.
The pests can also pose a threat
to bird and wildlife.
The use of 1080 has been hotly
debated in New Zealand for many
years but recent research includ-
ing an enquiry by the Parliamen-
tary Commissioner for the
Environment, support its use.
Mataroa's Ian Bradley is
He has been using the Hihitahi
Sanctuary for more than 20 years,
sometimes for hunting and
believes 1080 is detrimental to
He said birds were needed to
keep the bush healthy and spread
He also suggested pest control
efforts should be focussed on the
I know they've got to get rid of
the possums but it doesn't have to
be with 1080,'' Mr Bradley said.
Taihape Deer Stalkers presi-
dent Steve Howl said the organis-
ation was reluctant to comment
but said it would prefer the drop
did not happen.
He did concede it was out of
their hands though.
Rangitikei Forest and Bird
reserves manager Hugh Stewart
said fears over 1080 were
unfounded and that research had
proven the pest control method
Sometimes there are some bird
deaths but it has been proven that
bird numbers bounce back hugely
afterwards,'' he said.
Mr Stewart pointed out that he
took people deer hunting himself
and that hunters should not be
concerned about deer numbers.
The numbers are so big I can
guarantee venison on the table at
the end of the day,'' he said.
Department of Conservation
technical support officer (animal
threats) Nick Pouto said it was
about weighing the costs against
He said the benefits were far
We're not complacent about
the use of toxin, it is serious.''
He said while individual birds
can be affected in the short-term,
it helps bird life in the long run.
We've got to look at the net
population effect,'' he said.
Animal Health Board communi-
cations adviser Mike Hansen said
the use of 1080 was essential in
the fight to combat the spread of
Mr Hansen said possum
numbers in the Hihitahi Sanctu-
ary were predicted to be around
double the level required for bov-
ine TB control.
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