LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I have read the articles and letters regarding the mangrove issue in your latest publications with great interest.
I would like to add my voice to those advocating and supporting the control of this invasive plant in whatever estuaries and harbours it occurs, including those in our home town of Whangamata.
Such issues always raise concerns and divergent views and unfortunately these are often opposed or supported by misinformation, personal interests or ignorance.
It is not always possible to resolve such issues to the complete satisfaction of everyone or every interest but I firmly believe there is always room for better understanding and compromise in such matters.
My understanding of the position is that the Harbour Care Group promotes and assists efforts to halt the rampant spread of mangroves that threaten to choke and totally dominate the harbour estuarine area.
I think maybe there is a misconception that ‘elimination’ of mangroves is what they are seeking as the word ‘removal’ is often used rather the correct term — ‘control’.
I certainly support controlling further spread of mangroves but consider complete removal to be neither possible nor desirable.
My personal interest is in the welfare of all wildlife that inhabit these estuaries. With a background in wildlife protection and habitat management I spent my working life (47 years) employed by the NZ Wildlife Service and the Department of Conservation.
Much of this work and my greatest interest was in managing waterbirds, including threatened species and their habitats.
I must challenge those who claim mangroves are NZ banded rails’ most valued habitat.
This species is found living in a wide variety of dense low vegetation sites associated with estuarine and freshwater habitats. They are very much an ‘edge’ inhabiting bird, often feeding out in the open but never far from the security of dense beds of rushes, sedges and other fringe vegetation — including mangroves.
I think it unfortunate that some of those people opposing further controls of the spreading mangroves have completely ignored the importance of the open estuarine sands and mudflats for a wide variety of other wildlife, including those mentioned by your correspondent Lene Knight in her recent letter to you.
My hope is that commonsense will prevail: That all wildlife species and local interests are taken into consideration, including the human interests such as fishing, kayaking etc.
I believe greater local say in the future of our estuarine waters will result in better and more cost effective management of these wonderful assets for this and future generations.
To stop or unnecessarily limit the control of mangroves on the false premise it will benefit the banded rail would be an ill informed and harmful decision. JOHN ADAMS
Whangamata Over the recent holiday period, and in particular regard to the commercial events in Williamson Park, the cruising police cars missed entirely (I am told), the youths drinking, chundering, relieving themselves, and leaving bottles along fencelines of the area.
Being between the cars and the houses they were not visible to any passing police person in a car. I suggest the police are issued with bikes and ride along the grass verges between houses and parked cars next year.
And here’s hoping Williamson Park will return to being a ‘family’ park for perpetuity as intended by the generous donor. PATRICIA BYRNE
Whangamata I refer to the (Coastal News, Feb 15) review concerning my third book.
In the main, a fair review. However, I must correct a misconception that all early European maps had a massive landmass in the southern part of the world to act as a counter balance.
In my research I produce a number of world maps and a globe made between 1491-1492 — all show no such land mass.
One such map is the 1491 Martellus which shows two islands on the eastern side of Australia. This map is on P56 and around the two islands I write: “Could this be New Zealand?” However, some early European maps do show a large southern land mass and on page 6 such a map is on display with the wording: “Terra Australia Incognita”.
Of interest this 1617 world map clearly has drawn upon it the outline of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Some early maps appear upside down. MAX HILL Whangamata