Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 6 November 2009 Contents LOCAL NEWS
6 November, 2009 | Page 5
The trust organised to eradicate
wilding pine from the Northern
Southland area is waiting to
hear from a Government select
committee about whether it will be
able to continue its planned work.
Mid Dome Wilding Tree Charitable
Trust chairwoman Ali Timms went
to Wellington two weeks ago to
present its case. Her main focus
was to get the definition of a tree
weed changed so that it includes
trees originally planted for erosion
Part of the Climate Change
Response Act 2008 says that if
a pre-1990 tree weed forest was
planted or sown, then it does not
qualify for an exemption from the
carbon charge which is set to be
introduced next year.
The Mid Dome lodgepole pines
(Pinus contorta) were deliberately
planted between the 1940s and
1980s by the Government to
stop soil erosion in the area. The
pines had since spread across
16,000ha and threaten more
than 100,000ha of high-country
The bill to remove the 250
hectares of pine at Mid Dome was
about $3 million, she said.
“It’s not like we are cutting down
trees to plant grass and graze
cows,” she said.
The trust had been operating for
the past three years and had been
integral in removing thousands of
trees in the area.
Although eradication could still go
ahead it was unlikely the major
funding partners (The Ministry
for the Environment and Land
Information New Zealand) would
foot the hefty carbon charge bill.
“We’re being hamstrung by
something which is ludicrous,”
The select committee was set to
report back to the Government by
November 15 so she was hoping
for some feedback around then.
Anxious wait for weed definition
A contractor attacks a wilding pine on Mid Dome during a recent work day.
Chainsaws and axes are typical of tools regularly in use to keep the “tree
weeds” in check.
PHOTO: Environment Southland
The woman who has overseen
much of planning and logistics
for Fiordland’s new health centre
is looking forward to steering the
project to completion after being
elected the Fiordland Health
Trust’s new chairwoman.
Lyn Tee is one of only a few people
who have been involved with the
project almost since it was first
She has served on the trust
for 12 years and most recently
has chaired the building sub-
Now all the plans have been
finalised – just awaiting Southland
District Council sign-off before
work can begin.
Mrs Tee said she was very much
looking forward to the dream
becoming a reality.
Mrs Tee takes over from Ian Collie
who resigned at the trust’s annual
meeting on October 20.
Despite the length of time that
had passed and the many hurdles
along the way, public support for
the new health centre had never
waned, Mrs Tee said.
Donations continued to trickle
in at the rate of around $1500 a
That was not only shoring up the
budget but also boosting coffers
to ensure the centre would be well
“The more money we have, the
better quality we can provide,” she
While last-minute council building
consent queries were answered,
the surveyors had been in and re-
surveyed and pegged the section
so building could start as soon as
the consent was approved.
Mrs Tee said she was very hopeful
that builders would be able to
begin work before Christmas.
Southland District Council
resource management manager
Bruce Halligan said part of the
delay came down to the length of
time that had passed since the
resource consent was approved.
“The building has actually
changed from what was originally
approved some years ago. We’ve
therefore asked that they submit a
new application, which is basically
an application seeking to change
the conditions of their consent to
reflect the new building because
the original consent required a
larger number of (car) parks to be
provided on the site,” he said.
The cost of providing the car parks
required in the original consent
was high so it was reasonable
that, because the building was
now smaller, the council did not
require as many car parks.
“It should be reasonably
Old hand new chair of Fiordland Health Trust
New Fiordland Health Trust president
By Karen Pasco
Potential strike action at Real
Journeys was averted last week
after successful mediation.
A joint statement by Real Journeys
chief executive Dave Hawkey and
New Zealand Merchant Service
Guild secretary Helen McAra
was released last Thursday
afternoon saying mediation
had successfully concluded
negotiations for terms of
settlement for Fiorland launch
masters and crew, which
would go to members for
ratification over the next two
The guild had issued notice to
strike from November 5 which
the company responded to by
suspending those launch masters
covered by the strike action.
Notices of strike action and
company suspension notices have
subsequently been withdrawn by
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