Gulls still causing problems
Porirua businesses continue to be over-run by pesky gulls.
Porirua City Council is trying to solve the problem, including by culling gull numbers at Spicer Landfill.
Some Mohuia Cres business owners raised concerns last year about black-backed gulls causing havoc on their roofs as thousands of them were roosting on roofs and leaving behind a trail of rubbish, from animal bones to used condoms.
Wellington Windows and Doors director Alex Laplanche said when the gulls were on his building the smell was putrid.
‘‘The stink is awful. I just can’t handle it,’’ he said. ‘‘They’re bloody aggressive things.’’
Mr Laplanche said the council had been in contact with him since the issue was raised by KapiMana News in October.
The council had been proactive investigating the problem before Christmas, but it would take a long time to fix, he said.
‘‘It is not something that’s going to change overnight. We have been battling this for a long time.’’
Mr Laplanche said he had cleared his roof regularly during the past 10 years, which helped somewhat. ‘‘The roof next door probably has 10 nests on it.’’ He said the birds were now in their nesting period, which would finish next month.
Porirua City Council solid waste manager Peter Keller said the council was working with Porirua Chamber of Commerce to solve the problem and work so far had included visiting four businesses to ascertain what was attracting the gulls.
‘‘Factors identified so far include whether the building is on a flight path between natural food sources, such as the harbour, and man-made food sources, such as the City Centre and landfill,’’ he said.
Mr Keller said the council would start visiting businesses that did not have a gull problem and see if there were any lessons to be learnt.
He said the council was culling more birds at the tip.
It had also begun burying food waste as soon as it arrived.
Porirua Cylinder Testing owner David Davenport said he cleared the nests off his building every year, so did not have any issues.
Aspiring Walls (formerly Pacific Wallcoverings) manufacturing manager Neil Macdonald said he had seen fewer seagulls on his building.
He said the company had attended several council-run meetings.
‘‘It has all gone very quiet but it will be very interesting to see where things go from here.’’
Gull menace: The black-backed gull, which is still annoying business owners in Porirua.