Date: 16 July 2012
Dae Van der Maazen, a 37 year old Waikato man, was convicted and fined $2000 by Judge Richard Watson at the Tauranga District court today for illegally applying cyanide baits at the Kaimai Summit near Tauranga. The offending occurred during the New Year holiday period last year. The judge also ordered the man to pay $696.90 in costs to the Department of Conservation and court costs. He was also ordered to forfeit seized items.
The Department of Conservation (DOC) was alerted to the offending by a jogger who discovered toxin at the Henderson Tramline Track off Old Kaimai Road. The unpermitted use of toxins on public land is prohibited under the Conservation Act 1987 and attracts penalties of up to a year in prison with fines of up to $10,000 also possible.
Local DOC Ranger Dave Wills says the man’s actions demonstrate the importance of proper controls: “In this case the cyanide toxin baits were placed in paper bags along a busy DOC walking track during the height of the visitor season. Our inspection of the site later revealed that bags had also become ripped and that baits were lying on the track itself, which is one of the reasons that a system of permitting and safety checking is needed”.
“We encourage people to control possums but it does require a permit. These can be obtained free of charge from DOC. We ensure that permit holders have the right qualifications such as approved handler status and that they are following safe practises such as applying toxin well away from walking tracks and erecting signage to alert other forest users”.
Possum trapping and baiting is popular in the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park. Forest users can expect to see people doing this work in a safe and controlled fashion. Suspicious activity can be reported via the DOC HOTline 0800 362 468.
Contact Dave Wills at DOC in Tauranga, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +64 7 571 2733