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Kapiti News - 2021-07-21

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Storm may have washed poisoned pests down rivers

Opinion

The heavy duty storm of last weekend had all sorts of implications for councils, from flooding and evacuations in the South Island, to here in the Wellington region where our public transport network was disrupted and health messages were issued to dog owners. But of course safety comes first, for humans and for our beloved pets. Thanks everyone for your patience while the train and bus networks experienced significant impacts. By way of a quick update on our public transport rail network, Johnsonville had suspended services while an urgent assessment was completed to assess the damage before reopening. Meanwhile, the Ka¯ piti Coast line had limited services, the Hutt Valley Line services were suspended, and the Wairarapa line’s services ran but were delayed. On top of those significant disruptions, bus services had major delays due to road closures and limited state highway access. As a further impact of the heavy rain, GWRC released a warning to dog owners to keep their dogs away from the Hutt River and Wellington Harbour beaches until staff had checked those areas for dead possums poisoned with 1080. The heavy rain last Saturday may have washed dead possums poisoned with 1080, from a possum control operation on July 2 in the Akatarawa Forest, down the Hutt River and into Wellington Harbour. So GWRC staff erected warning signs and checked beaches from Petone through to Pencarrow. The plan was for staff to check both sides for possum carcasses from Upper Hutt to Petone, once the Hutt River’s high waters had gone down. It’s winter, so please continue to take every care on our roads, and alongside of waterways. And we’ll continue to take a cautious approach and respond appropriately to ensure we don’t put anyone, human or our canine buddies, at risk.

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