The farmer concerned, Patrick Fitzgerald of Wainihinihi, owns land in the Taipo Valley below 7 Mile Creek. He has for a number of years had a problem with stock being slaughtered and butchered and removed by individuals with 4WD vehicles. The problem in the past has occurred over the winter months.
Mr Fitzgerald has discussed the problem jointly with the Westland District Council and DOC. The result being an agreement to trial the locking of a gate at the entrance to the access road and sited on conservation land, with the following conditions:
- The gate can only be locked until 1 October 2001
- Keys for the gate must be supplied to the Greymouth and Hokitika police and Westland District Council and DOC
- A system must be in place that ensures a key is available at all reasonable times to anyone with a legitimate request to borrow one.
- The succcess or otherwise of this trial will be reviewed during October 2001.
A subsequent response against the locking of the gate has meant the situation is being reviewed at the present time.
This is a trial only. Pedestrian access is in no way restricted - this includes access across Fitzgeralds private land in the valley. A key to the gate can be borrowed from Mr Fitzgerald at all reasonable times which means that vehicle access is still available to those wishing to take their 4WD into the valley. Mr Fitzgerald has no problem with continued vehicle access where the track crosses his freehold property near 7 Mile Creek.
Keys have been provided to the agencies mentioned above. A temporary sign has been placed on the gate describing where a key can be obtained. (there are a couple of options in case Mr Fitzgerald is not at home).
The missing Entrance Sign is coincidental to this issue. A new sign has been designed and will be put in place shortly.
Please address any questions to John Lyall (Hokitika Area Manager), 03 755 5530 direct dial.