Taranaki bypass could be devastating to native bat population, DOC says

A proposed $200m bypass road over Taranaki's Mount Messenger could devastate the local population of long-tail bats, DOC warns.

Hearings about the bypass have been taking place since the beginning of the month, The Taranaki Daily News reports, and DOC on Wednesday talked about potential ecological effects.

Dr Colin O'Donnell presented evidence that the bats in the area are already at risk and that construction could severely harm their populations.

"The effects of the project are potentially catastrophic to long tail bats in particular the felling on breeding trees during road construction may lead to the extinction of the Mt Messenger bat population," he said.

Bats are present at 94 per cent of the surveyed locations within the proposed bypass area, Dr O'Donnell said.

"Breeding roost trees are rare with specialised features that tend to be 100 years old and are almost irreplaceable except over very long time frames.

"Adverse affects will occur when trees are destroyed even if the bats are not in them at the time of felling.

"Bats don't just change roost on a whim they follow a traditional routine, that is so strict they often use the same tree, on the same day, each year."

A report by Wildland Consultants Ltd in May held showed there are concerns around whether NZTA can sufficiently offset the ecological effects of the road.

Of the 1190 public submissions received about the bypass, only 20 opposed it.

There are concerns the SH3 bypass at Mt Messenger could impact the population of long-tail bats in the area.
There are concerns the SH3 bypass at Mt Messenger could impact the population of long-tail bats in the area. Source: NZTA/DOC

Ngāpuhi hapū may head to tribunal if Andrew Little insists on single settlement for iwi

Ngāpuhi hapū will head back to the Waitangi Tribunal if Andrew Little insists on a single settlement for the whole iwi, a hapū leader says.

The Treaty Negotiations Minister is heading north this weekend to report progress in talks over Ngāpuhi's long-running mandate dispute.

Pita Tipene, who co-chairs the hapū alliance Te Kotahitanga said Mr Little seemed hell-bent on a single settlement despite the tribunal's 2015 finding that it undermined hapū rangatiratanga.

Legal action was a last resort but Mr Little was leaving hapū with little choice, Mr Tipene said.

"The Waitangi Tribunal made some really clear recommendations in 2015 and they cannot be ignored."

Mr Tipene is one of four Ngāpuhi leaders who have been meeting with Mr Little since March to resolve the row over who represents the hapū, and who should negotiate a settlement.

He and Hokianga spokesman Rudy Taylor have spoken for the hapū alliance Te Kotahitanga, whose concerns over the mandate were upheld by the tribunal.

Tuhoronuku, the board whose mandate was accepted by the former National government, has been represented at the talks by its chair Hone Sadler and the rūnanga chair Raniera Sonny Tau.

Tuhoronuku favours keeping Ngāpuhi's commercial redress in one package to maximise the iwi's economic power, while the hapū alliance wants six settlements based on natural groupings in the north.

Mr Tipene said the Government's insistence on one settlement was driven by political expedience.

"They just want it quick and dirty; they don't really care about the people up here and they are prepared to ride roughshod over them again, and the people aren't going to accept it," he said.

Mr Little has said he was not prepared to let "one voice" hold up the Ngāpuhi settlement.

But Mr Tipene said that was disingenuous.

"The minister knows that mine is just one of a whole lot of voices and many people who disapprove of the path this is taking," he said.

Turnout at Mr Little's hui in the north this weekend could be low because the minister had given people only a few days' notice, Mr Tipene said.

Mr Little said the law failed to act as an effective deterrent.
Source: 1 NEWS


Deputy police commissioner Wally Haumaha 'disrespects and bullies women' - Louise Nicholas claims

Louise Nicholas says several women have approached her over the years complaining about Wally Haumaha's attitude towards women and his bullying behaviour.

A government inquiry is currently looking into the appointment process of Mr Haumaha as deputy police commissioner, in light of comments he made defending police officers accused of rape in 2004.

Sexual assault victim advocate Louise Nicholas says more historic sex abuse survivors are coming forward now.
Louise Nicholas. Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Nicholas said there wasn't a lot of information given to her at the time but she wasn't surprised that the women were saying this was what Mr Haumaha was like.

"One in particular said to me 'how the hell did he get to where he is with the way he treats women, it's not right'."

They were airing their concerns about his appointment as assistant commissioner, she said.

The women told Ms Nicholas that Mr Haumaha was a bully.

"They felt they weren't listened to, they were in positions of doing the job they were employed to do, if I can put it that way, and yet it didn't matter what they were saying or doing, it was kind of like he was slam dunking them, he wasn't listening to them."

She hopes the inquiry is wide enough to cover these concerns.

"Wally Haumaha has done amazing work in his capacity as iwi liaison, we can't take that away from him. My concern, and the concern of other women has been that he disrespects and bullies women, that is what's come to my attention and that is what I know."

Ms Nicholas said she warned the executive when they were looking to appoint Mr Haumaha.

"I said 'it's going to come back and bite you in the arse, it's something you should not be doing'."

She said some of the women had worked with Mr Haumaha, not within the Police, and they voiced their concerns to Ms Nicholas before she went public with her own doubts.

Police have confirmed they did receive an allegation of bullying on a joint project with the Justice Ministry headed by Mr Haumaha.

Wally Haumaha appointed Deputy Commissioner
Wally Haumaha Source: Te Karere