Saturday, March 19, 2022

Whale Stranding — Farewell Spit

Whale Stranding Farewell Spit, Tasman Bay, New Zealand. 18 March 22


The latest news on the whale stranding at Farewell Spit is that

around 36 pilot whales have stranded approximately 4km from the Farewell Spit carpark at Puponga.

DOC and Project Jonah are both on the scene and assessing the situation. 

There are only a handful of whales still alive and as yet no decision has been made about what to do with the survivors. 

Several whales which were in a very poor state were euthanised yesterday 18th March.

We have enquired with the Dept., of Conservation for the latest update.

DOC accessing the sad situation 19 March 22.

Update from DOC concerning the situation on Friday

DOC Takaka Operations Manager Dave Winterburn reported.

A pilot whale found stranded at the base of Farewell Spit has unfortunately had to be euthanised on Friday afternoon for the welfare of the animal.

The whale was in poor condition and was not going to survive. Decisions to euthanize stranded whales are not taken lightly and euthanasia is carried out when it is the humane course of action.

In addition, one of the five pilot whales which was refloated has restranded.

Earlier today, five surviving pilot whales were refloated with the 11am high tide by Department of Conservation rangers and Project Jonah medics.

We first received a report of the stranding at about 6pm on Thursday night. Rangers were sent to the site, but an incoming tide and night conditions meant they were unable to remain there overnight. They counted a total of 36 whales stranded, of which 7 were alive when rangers left the site.

When a team of rangers arrived at the site early this morning, they found 34 whales at the site, of which 5 were alive. It is thought there were less whales found there on Friday morning because 2 carcasses may have been lifted by the high tide on Thursday night and taken out to sea.

We are not seeking any assistance from the public as we have enough DOC rangers and Project Jonah medics on site to manage the situation.

DOC is working with Manawhenua Ki Mohua to ensure the deceased whales are treated appropriately.

An aerial survey of the 28km length of Farewell Spit this morning did not find any additional stranded whales.

While this event is unfortunate, whale strandings are a natural phenomenon.

The cause of this stranding is not known, but Golden Bay is a high stranding area with Farewell Spit hooking around the northern entrance into the bay and forming extensive, many kilometres wide, intertidal sand flats.

Update from Yesterday from DOC

We have had DOC rangers do an early morning sweep around at low tide.


They found two deceased whales approx 1.5km apart, it is not clear if these two whales are from the group that were reflated yesterday.  There are no live stranded whales.


Pigeon Post News



Friday, March 18, 2022


Photo Ray Therkleson


Over the weekend I went down to Nelson port to see how the fish was going. It was a beautiful day with very little wind and many boat trailers were parked up so the lucky few with boats were out fishing.

Some were out just in the harbour and others were well out beyond the Bolder Bank.

I met Stevan Poldar who had just been out fishing on Saturday morning. He said "within two hours I caught my quota but would have loved to carry on fishing to try and catch the big one."

He said "there was no luck plucking the really big one but I have plenty of Snapper and Blue Code it beats buying it at the fish shop."


Stevan rang me this morning Friday and said "I am out fishing this morning and have so far had great success." 

He is out beyond the Nelson Harbour somewhere but he would not let me know exactly.

He sent me a photo this morning of his catch so far today:


I'm sure he is pleased.

Enough fish for a week Stevan! Just as well the weather is not like this today:


Rough seas along Rocks Road Nelson Harbour 1915 and the still existing Thomas Cawthron's chain fence holding up.

No fishing that day!

Pigeon Post News
Keeping Tasman up to date



Sparky from Murchison supplied by Lydia Stewart

Murchison to the rescue

Sparky, the sweet dog, was sitting in Lydia Stewart's black Nissan ute with a box of tools when it was taken from a St Martin's property in Murchison last Saturday the 12 March 2022.

The whole Murchison community and Tasman Police rallied around trying to find Sparky, the tools and the ute after a notice was put on the Murchison Bulletin Board.

An eagle-eyed police officer on duty noticed the ute parked up on the side of State Highway 6 in remote Owen River, and got on the dog-and-bone making inquiries.

The Murchison Police officer certainly wasn't barking up the wrong tree, as he sniffed out Sparky safe and well inside the ute. 

Lydia Stewart and Sparky

Sparky was found!

Sparky's very happy owner Lydia Stewart raced on her way to pick him up, and the ute but minus the tools.

Lydia Stewart said “One happy ending indeed.”

“Sparky is absolutely overjoyed to be home and would like to thank each and every one of her fans for helping her return safely!! She was very thirsty and hungry (like usual!) but the vet gave her the big OK.”

Lydia said “thank you to absolutely everyone who messaged and called with information and support.  I’m completely overwhelmed.”

“The power of community and connection is incredible.”

Thank you to Lydia and Sparky.

Pigeon Post News

Māpua by moonlight

Moonlight at Māpua last night17 March 2022

Juliette Fox a well respected Māpua resident took this photo last night for all to see on Facebook.

As you can see there is cloud around but Māpua is going to have the best weather in Tasman today with only a little cloud, 11 degree high temperature and a slight south west gentle wind.

Thank you Juliette.



Pigeon Post News

Thursday, March 17, 2022

FORMULA 1 - How all 10 teams fared in Bahrain's Official Pre-Season Test

FORMULA 1 — 3 Day test before racing this weekend

Three days of pre-season testing in Bahrain stood between the teams and the opening race of the season. Conditions were vastly different to the cool spring temperatures of Barcelona, and as the heat took hold, reliability issues started to crop up. Add in some pretty major car evolutions since the 2022 machines were last on track, and there was plenty to discuss ahead of the opening race of the season. Here's how all 10 teams got on in Bahrain, in lap count order.

March 12: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during Day Three of F1 Testing at Bahrain. R Therkleson


Total Laps – 384

Fastest Lap – 1m 32.759s (Russell)

It was a mixed bag for Mercedes in Bahrain. They topped the lap charts with a whopping 384 circuits around this desert track, but they didn’t trouble the top of the timing sheets. What they did do is cause the biggest stir of the whole of testing when they unveiled their very sleek sidepods on Day 1, going in a completely different design direction from everyone else. But it didn’t seem to help their porpoising issues, and they seem to have their work cut out ahead of the first race of the season.

Mercedes W13 F1 2022 car R Therkleson

Scuderia AlphaTauri 

Total Laps – 370

Fastest Lap – 1m 33.002s (Tsunoda)

Lots of laps for AlphaTauri and no real reliability concerns. So far so good for the team, and in Pierre Gasly they have a proven performer who is just getting better and better with age. Yuki Tsunoda has said he has grown in confidence, and with a season under his belt, is well placed to kick on. The only question marks are over the car, with nothing particularly eye-catching on show. But with some of their rivals struggling, they could be well placed to make a bid for the top of the midfield.
Alpha Tauri 2022 new F1 car R Therkleson


Ferrari 2022 F1 75 Car R Therkleson

Total Laps – 349

Fastest Lap – 1m 32.415s (Leclerc)

Ferrari were the talk of the town on Day 1 and 2, consistently quick laps being laid down by both their drivers. Everyone was in rare agreement in the paddock that they were fast, and they didn’t appear to have any reliability problems. They might have been pipped by Red Bull right at the end of Day 3, but nonetheless the Scuderia looks well placed to mount a charge this season.

Alfa Romeo

Total Laps – 343

Fastest Lap – 1m 32.985s (Bottas)

After troubled running in Barcelona, with plenty of mechanical issues, Bahrain went much more smoothly for Alfa Romeo. Zhou Guanyu got plenty of laps under his belt and even a practice standing start, while Valtteri Bottas likewise spent a fair amount of time on track. The Finn did stop twice though, with the hydraulics playing up, but those looked relatively minor issues compared to the problems of Barcelona.


Aston Martin

Total Laps – 339

Fastest Lap – 1m 33.821s (Vettel)

This was a good test for Aston Martin, another team to sail through relatively untroubled. The only fly in the ointment was a stop out on track for Sebastian Vettel on Day 2, but the German wasn’t confined to the pits for long once the team recovered his car, with the issue a relatively minor one. Their pace remains a slight unknown, but there is certainly no major cause for concern with the first race just days away.

Red Bull

Total Laps – 319

Fastest Lap – 1m 31.720s (Verstappen)

Red Bull quietly but assuredly cracked on with their programme on the opening two days, there or thereabouts. Roll on Day 3 and they ran a very different looking car after a raft of upgrades arrived, including a different sidepod design. And whatever they’ve done – it worked. Sergio Perez topped the morning session, and Max Verstappen was comfortably quickest under the lights. So much so that a spin for the Dutchman was soon forgotten.


Total Laps – 299

Fastest Lap – 1m 32.698s (Alonso)

Esteban Ocon shone on Day 2, topping the timing sheets in the morning session despite the temperatures absolutely soaring out there. With plenty of long runs under his belt, it was a good showing by the Frenchman and one that Fernando Alonso was able to match on the final day. No obvious reliability problems, the Spaniard put down a quick lap late on under the lights on Day 3 to raise a few eyebrows out there.

Alpine New F1 car R Therkleson


Total Laps – 258

Fastest Lap – 1m 33.959s (Zhou)

Williams had a good opening day, but it went awry on Day 2. Nicholas Latifi was in the car when the brakes caught on fire, causing him to spin. Things evolved quite rapidly from there, so much so that the team couldn’t get the car fixed in time to run again and the Canadian was limited to just 12 laps. But roll on Day 3 and he more than made up for his lack of running with a mighty 124 laps. Alex Albon had a quiet but composed test, and seems to have bedded in well with his new team as the first race looms large.

William new F1 car


Total Laps – 199

Fastest Lap – 1m 33.191s (Norris)

They were one of the picks in Barcelona, but on Day 1, things started to unravel for McLaren. First, Daniel Ricciardo was unable to drive after feeling unwell, later being diagnosed with Covid which meant he missed all three days. Then Lando Norris encountered braking issues, with overheating looking a problem for the team. It couldn’t be fully fixed and cost the youngster plenty of running across the three days, not to mention limiting his longer runs to just the final day. Can they fix the problem before the first race? That’s the big question, as when they are running, McLaren do look quick.


Total Laps – 253

Fastest Lap – 1m 32.241s (Schumacher)

Haas’s test got off to the worst possible start. Freight delays through no fault of their own meant they couldn’t take part on the first morning, but the FIA later agreed that they could run late on Day 2 and 3, and also early on Day 3, to make up for that lost time. Once on track, niggling reliability issues limited their laps in every session, but every problem was fixed relatively quickly and didn’t prove terminal. And the good news? Like McLaren, when they were on track, they looked quick. Comeback kid Kevin Magnussen also didn’t waste too much time getting back up to speed, although he did say his neck was feeling the strain…

Pigeon Post News

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Tasman District Council - Drinking Water Regulation Changes

Tasman District Council, Richmond, Tasman.


Council to host webinar on major drinking water regulations changes

Tasman District Council is running an online information session to highlight proposed significant changes to rules and regulations surrounding drinking water.  

Council Group Manager of Community Infrastructure Richard Kirby says this year, our community’s water supplies will become subject to greater scrutiny and will need to meet higher standards for safety and environmental stewardship. 

He says "the new Government water services regulator Taumata Arowai is charged with making sure all drinking water supplies meet the new requirements and will have some strong enforcement powers to ensure councils and private water providers comply." 

Making sure our water is safe to drink

Taumata Arowai and the Water Services Act 2021 are a direct result of the Havelock North drinking water crisis in 2016, when an outbreak of gastroenteritis because of contaminated drinking water saw 5000 people fall sick. 

Richard Kirby says "there will be implications for us as a Council, including increased costs, but there will also be significant ramifications for many members of our community with private water supplies."

“The new rules apply to any water scheme that supplies more than one household – affecting anyone with a bore or storage tanks that even one or two neighbours also draw water from.”
He says "this could include the likes of farms supplying water to worker accommodation. However, it doesn’t apply to properties that have a private water supply solely for the use of a single household." 

Is this your drinking water supply?

Residents have until 2025 to register their supply then until November 2028 to meet the new standards.

They are:   
•    Drinking Water Standards 
•    Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules 
•    Drinking Water Aesthetic Values 
•    Drinking Water Acceptable Solution for Roof Water Supplies 
•    Drinking Water Acceptable Solution for Spring and Bore Water Supplies 
•    Drinking Water Acceptable Solution for Rural Agricultural Water Supplies 
•    Drinking Water Network Environmental Performance Measures 

Public submissions close on 28 March. 

But prior to this, Tasman District Council is hosting a webinar to brief the community.

Richard Kirby, Group Manager Community Infrastructure, Tasman District Council

Richard Kirby says "it is extremely important that everyone on a private water supply in Tasman is aware of the implications, so a webinar is being held on Wednesday 16 March from 6.30pm and will be hosted by two senior members of the Taumata Arowai management team." 

Registration for the webinar can be found on the Tasman District Council website Full information about the proposed legislation is available at 

 Additional information from the editor:

Taumata Arowai  is a Crown entity established under the Taumata Arowai–the Water Services Regulator Act 2020. 

The establishment of Taumata Arowai as an independent regulator for drinking water and  to administer new legislation in the form of the Water Services Act 2021 (replacing Part 2A of the Health Act 1956) are integral parts of the Government’s Three Waters Reform Programme.  

Questions and answers:

Q: Is Taumata Arowai involved in the three waters plan to transfer water assets from councils to four new entities? 

A: No. Taumata Arowai is not involved in the creation of new regional water entities or the shift of functions from local authorities to them. Our role is to regulate rather than to determine any future changes to the water supply delivery system. We will work with drinking water suppliers in whichever form they take. 

Q: Is Taumata Arowai part of the government’s three waters reforms? 

A: The establishment of a dedicated water service regulator (Taumata Arowai) is the first of three pou (pillars) of the Government’s Three Waters Reform programme. The second pou is the Water Services Act 2021, which provides the legislative framework for reforms. The third pou is service delivery reform, which proposes to transfer management of large water supplies from councils to four regional entities. 

Q: What does Taumata Arowai mean? 

A: The name Taumata Arowai was gifted to us by Minister Nanaia Mahuta. It conveys the weight, responsibility, and authority of us as a regulator. Taumata is a term associated with a summit, symposium, or congress. Taumata invokes a sense of protection, leadership, and wisdom. Aro means to give attention to, to focus on, or be in the presence of. Wai is water.    

Q: How is Taumata Arowai governed?  

A: Taumata Arowai is governed by its Board, established under the Taumata Arowai–the Water Services Regulator Act 2020. The Board was appointed on 17 February 2021 by the Minister of Local Government and is chaired by Dame Karen Poutasi. 

The Māori Advisory Group was appointed by the Acting Minister of Local Government on 20 May 2021 and is chaired by Tipa Mahuta. 

The Māori Advisory Group is established under the Taumata Arowai–the Water Services Regulator Act 2020 and advises on Māori interests and knowledge as they relate to the objectives, functions, and operating principles of Taumata Arowai and the Board’s collective duties. This includes: 

  • developing and maintaining a framework that provides advice and guidance for Taumata Arowai on how to interpret and give effect to Te Mana o te Wai. 
  • providing advice on how to enable mātauranga Māori, tikanga Māori, and kaitiakitanga to be exercised. 
  • any other matters as agreed by the Māori Advisory Group and the Board.  

Q: What is Te Mana o Te Wai? 

A: Te Mana o Te Wai provides a pathway for Crown agencies and other people with statutory functions, powers, and duties to recognise and respect the kaitiakitanga obligations of mana whenua, in a manner that aligns with māturanga-a-iwi.  

Its application will vary from place to place and community to community, in accordance with local responses to the principles it embodies.  

While Te Mana o Te Wai is defined in a document created under the Resources Management Act 1991, Taumata Arowai must consider and apply its meaning and operation for the purposes of the Taumata Arowai-the Water Services Regulator Act 2020 and the Water Services Act 2021. 

Q: What is the Water Services Act 2021? 

A: The Water Services Act 2021 provides a new regulatory approach for drinking water. It gives Taumata Arowai a legal framework and tools which we can use to regulate the water services sector and improve its performance. Most of its provisions commence on 15 November 2021. 

Q: What role will the Ministry of Health and Public Health Units play once Taumata Arowai becomes the regulator? 

A: The Ministry of Health and Public Health Units (PHU) will continue to play a vital role in protecting public health. Taumata Arowai will work closely with PHU staff, particularly during drinking water incidents and events.  

Editor comments:

Simply, a whole new independent Crown entity 'Taumata Arowai' has been established to be a regulator for drinking water and  to administer new legislation in the form of the Water Services Act 2021 (replacing Part 2A of the Health Act 1956).

Pigeon Post News 2022


Contact Anne-Maree at:

Monday, March 14, 2022

Ukraine: UN's 'Responsibility to Protect'?

Gaunt, exhausted faces Ukraine

 Ukraine: the UN’s ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine is a hollow promise for civilians under fire

Peter Lee

Professor of Applied Ethics and Director, Security and Risk Research, University of Portsmouth 


Images of gaunt, exhausted faces of people fleeing bombardment and death once again dominate global news. From Mariupol to Irpin, Russian artillery attacks on Ukrainian civilians have kept them trapped in hell.

Every day, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky pleads for help. He begs for military support to save his people from Russian aggression. Every day, world leaders find new ways to say that they will not intervene militarily. The line is drawn at warm words and humanitarian aid.

So, what has happened to the UN’s much-vaunted “responsibility to protect” – or “R2P” – doctrine? That willingness to use force to protect populations from genocide, war crimes and ethnic cleansing. United States secretary of state Antony Blinken has already claimed “very credible” reports of Russian war crimes. The Ukraine invasion shows R2P to be the hollow promise it has always been.

People feeing bombardment

What is R2P?

Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was affirmed at the 2005 UN World Summit. World leaders agreed to protect civilians from the kind of atrocities that are now unfolding in Ukraine. R2P would be “an emerging international security and human rights norm”.

The then secretary-general of the UN, Kofi. Annan announced that the world had taken “collective responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”. A new era in international cooperation had apparently arrived.

Russan Tank

R2P emerged as a response to the atrocities in Rwanda and Srebrenica in the 1990s. Its aims were humanitarian, well-intended and optimistic. In 1999, Tony Blair captured the zeitgeist when he declared: “We are all internationalists now.”

Blair suggested five principles for military intervention to protect civilians on humanitarian grounds:

  • The case must be proven
  • All diplomatic options must have been exhausted
  • There must be sensible and prudent military operations to be undertaken
  • It’s a long-term commitment
  • Do we have national interests involved?
In 2000, prompted by events in Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia and Rwanda, the Canadian government stepped forward. It established the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS). It reported on the so-called “right of humanitarian intervention”. That is, the right to use military force to protect people at risk in other states.

Ukraine Children's Hospital

The problem with R2P

Since affirming R2P in 2005, the UN has failed to prevent atrocities in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Myanmar and elsewhere. Now it is failing to protect civilians in Ukraine.

The problem is, R2P was set up to fail. At the heart of the principle exists an unresolvable geopolitical tension. There are five permanent members of the UN Security Council: the US, Russia, China, UK and France. Each can veto UN military or R2P action. Everyone protects their allies and their own interests, so the track record is damning.

After all the optimistic talk in 2005, by 2009 there had been little progress in implementing R2P. The then UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, reported that the UN and member states were “underprepared to meet their most fundamental prevention and protection responsibilities”.

Ukraine soldier

By 2018, fighting in Syria had been underway for eight years, and the UN reported the conflict had led to 400,000 dead, 5.6 million refugees and 6.6 million internally displaced people. Yet Russia and China still refused to invoke R2P. Russia and China also vetoed UN attempts to refer Syria and the perpetrators of war crimes to the International Criminal Court.

If such levels of human suffering could not prompt a UN-sanctioned R2P-based military intervention, what will?

War in the suburbs of Kyiv Ukraine

The optimists

Despite mounting evidence against it ever being used when it is needed most, R2P has its supporters. In November 2020, Gareth Evans from the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect set out a positive case for R2P. A former Australian foreign minister, Evans helped conceive R2P, and described it as a new norm of international behaviour which “overwhelmingly, states feel ashamed to violate, compelled to observe, or at least embarrassed to ignore”.

Ukraine devastation

But such optimism seems misplaced in light of the harsh realities on the ground in Ukraine. The current UN secretary-general, António Guterres, has stated that protecting civilians “must be priority number one”.

But the real priority is not protecting Ukrainian civilians but to avoid a third world war by preventing a clash between Russia and the west. Plus, protecting Ukrainian civilians by intervening with massive military power would be costly – politically, financially and in terms of military lives lost.

There is little evidence that electorates in western liberal democratic states want their leaders to deploy such military force. UK polling in early March indicated only 28% support for military intervention in Ukraine. Similar polling in the US showed 42% support for military intervention.

The political limits of R2P have been reached. The possibility of military intervention on humanitarian grounds has, in practice, already be consigned to the history books. It would be kinder, and more honest, to stop offering desperate Ukrainians false hope. We should admit R2P was a principled idea whose time never came.

The Conversation

cc creative commons

Pigeon Post News


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