Gulls still caus­ing prob­lems

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By SAM DUFF

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.

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