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Pines 'poisoned'

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 11:30 11/12/2013

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A Wharanui resident wants police to investigate the poisoning of 16 pines at Wharanui Beach, near Ward.

The trees are on Department of Conservation land but Phil Russ is concerned about potential health and safety issues the trees pose.

"There is no signage displayed at all and, when the trees finally die, they will be a safety hazard for people visiting the beach."

He said each tree had a hole bored into it, where the poison appeared to have been laid. A small branch had been placed back into the hole, presumably so it wouldn't be noticed.

"I have reported the matter to both DOC and the police as I find it strange that all the trees poisoned are directly blocking one of my neighbour's view of the ocean.

"Only the trees blocking his view have been poisoned."

DOC South Marlborough ranger Shelly Sidley said the trees were not poisoned by DOC.

"We spend thousands of dollars to get rid of pine trees as part of our pest control, so it is not illegal for someone to kill pines on DOC land, they are actually saving us money."

DOC would prefer the public did not use poison, though, and that they contacted DOC first to be sure it was done in a controlled manner.

DOC would send someone to Wharanui Beach to assess any safety concerns. "If the trees pose a concern to public safety, we will look at having them removed before they turn dry and brittle," Ms Sidley said.

Mr Russ said it was not fair if taxpayers had to pay to remove the trees, which was why he wanted police to investigate.

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- The Marlborough Express

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