Discovering 1080 in the Whitianga CBD
On 17 October 2017, Graeme Sturgeon, Diana Halstead and Wendy Pond discovered 1080 poison pellets being loaded onto trucks in down town Whitianga. The three were all assaulted by a security guard.
On Saturday 20th October, 2017, Graeme, Diana and Wendy, all submitted signed affidavits to the Coromandel Police, describing in detail what they observed and the assaults on each of them by the security guard.
Incredibly, Graeme was charged with assault!
On 20 February 2018, Graeme Sturgeon, author and former NZ Forest Service hunter, was acquitted on a charge of common assault against a Department of Conservation security guard. (See the February 23 article.)
Judge Hollister-Jones identified the guard as RSP Lane, and ruled that NZ Police had not disproved self-defence on the part of Mr Sturgeon.
The Decision left open the possibility that Mr Sturgeon had been assaulted by the guard.
Meanwhile Dr Pond had asked NZ Police to bring a charge of assault on herself. NZ Police refused. A summary of Dr Pond’s response follows.
A basis for laying charges
Dear Sgt Morrison
On 17 October 2017 I was assaulted by a security guard employed by Department of Conservation. Your letter of 12 March 2018 advised, “Due to being unable to identify the offender for this matter Police were unable to progress the matter further.”
The following facts are known: On 17 October 2017, Exim Properties Ltd provided four security guards to Department of Conservation. At the time of the assault on me, two of the security guards were absent, having gone to buy take-aways in Whitianga.
This left the head security guard Mr Lane and one guard only at 20 Joan Gaskell Drive. Mr Lane must know which guard had remained with him.
Assaulted by a security guard
The security guard who assaulted me, approached from behind where I could not see him, swiftly opened my car door, and seized my ignition key without identifying his office and purpose.
Mr Lane described this tactic as “the element of surprise”. (He was reprimanded for this tactic in Decision of Judge Hollister-Jones, para [22i]). Intimidation is a criminal offence under the Summary Offences Act 1981, s21.
After I had regained control of my ignition key, the security guard used force to grab hold of my hand and a struggle ensued. Common assault is a criminal offence under the Summary Offences Act 1981, s9.
DoC instructions: not to obstruct protestors
The Papakai Emergency Response Plan was in effect on 17 October 2017.
The plan states under the heading, 1080 Protest Action — Peaceful Protest: “DOC staff are not to obstruct, restrain or be involved in any action against protestors or intruders.
That is the role of the New Zealand Police. Responsibility: All people involved.“
Security guard Lane’s plan
The head security guard Mr Lane accepted responsibility for intervening with the public.
In his statement to NZ Police on 19 October 2017 Mr Lane said, “I formulated a plan in my head to extract the trucks and block the protest vehicles in with other D.O.C. vehicles. I spoke with Nick Kelly, my contact from D.O.C. to make sure the Police had been called and advised him of my plan”
This is evidence enough to suggest that the guard who seized my keys was intending to carry out an agreed plan to intervene in the public’s freedom of movement.
The assault on me needs to be followed up
My person was assaulted, coercively assaulted, after I had peacefully observed a 1080 loading operation which I believed to be unlawful. Do NZ Police condone use of force by government agents?
You were willing to bring a charge of assault against Mr Sturgeon and thereby perpetuate the view that the 1080 protest movement is violent, but you have not been willing to bring a charge of assault against the security guard who used violence against the public.
On the grounds of these facts, I request that NZ Police use their professional capacity to identify the offender(s) and take my case to court.