Let’s secure penguin site and add a viewing tower
Having had experience with blue penguins and lost habitat, such as at Makorori Beach, I see a simple solution as seen around the world — shelter and peaceful breeding and rest places.
Kaiti Beach has wandering dogs and not all of these are on leashes. We have wandering dogs at night that the GDC dog catchers are trying to impound or kill. They have killed pets around Kaiti at night, and it has been proven that these dead penguins were killed by dogs.
The lay of the land around the expanding port is ideal to solve this. The 90 degree inside corner could be fenced off for a distance of at least 100 metres. Steel wire at a height where a dog or even people cannot get into the enclosure. A digger could make a large number of trenches with wooden boxes set underground about three metres down the trench at their far end. The ground could be left with small native grasses and left as is, over time.
As an observation site, a tower about 20 metres tall would enable people and watchers a view of penguins returning to the nests in the evening. This is very beautiful to see. It is not an expensive proposition, and would show locals and tourists what Tairawhiti has created right on our doorstep.
Funding is possible as the Government funds organisations like Forest and Bird to operate. Maybe even Eastland Port could join in.
Thanks to the people who protested about this horrible problem. Let’s fix it. It’s over to us all.
Alain JORION, NZ Recreational Fishing Council and Gisborne Tatapouri Sports Fishing Club life member