DoC Using Unlicensed Security Guards?

Coromandel man, 69-year-old Graeme Sturgeon, author, conservationist, and Vietnam war veteran, was assaulted in in the public car park of the Liquor King Building, Whitianga, on the night of 17 October, 2017 – hauled from his car by a ” security guard’, his clothing torn and his nose bloodied.….. (even his car door handle broken.) Carol Sawyer

Violence at a secret 1080 loading site

Put together by Roger Childs, with information from Carol Sawyer, Graeme Sturgeon and Wendy Pond

Loading 1080 in a public car park in Whitianga

There is a strong anti-1080 group on the Coromandel Peninsula and members were concerned about a planned drop in the area two months ago.

On the night of the October 17, the day before the scheduled operation, Department of Conservation (DoC), employees were spotted loading tons of 1080 pellets on to trucks. This was beside a storage area located at the back of the Liquor King building, close to houses and shops.

There was no signage or any indication that vehicles couldn’t enter, so Graeme Sturgeon drove in. Then all hell broke loose. According to Graeme:

I drove up the road alongside Liquor King and around the back of the building. As I turned the right angle corner at the back of the building I came upon 5 or six trucks that I had not seen until that moment.

I stopped and was in the process of taking off my seat belt and reaching for my camera, when my door flew open and I was grabbed by the scruff of the neck and dragged from my vehicle.

The Police charge Graeme Sturgeon!

As in today’s world a professional Locksmith and the average locksmith rates for the service they offer are quite reasonable and due to this people are using their services to get better locks, due to few security professionals in this field the trust which people have on locksmiths and personal security guards is slowly fading, thus resulting in more paranoid people and less business for the security  (Check This Out here)  as well as locksmith professionals.

The person who attacked Graeme, and who is now being declared by Police to be the one attacked, is ‘security guard’ Richard (Rick) Steven Perry Lane, who is listed as a director and shareholder of a security firm, VIP SECURITY CONSULTANTS LTD.

However some checking showed that VIP was not a bona fide security firm at the time, and the company was only registered on 12 December 2017.

So for the mid October 1080 drop, DoC was not using a registered security firm, as it is required to do.

It turns out that Lane actually does contract spraying for the Waikato Regional Council, when he’s not acting as a “security guard”.

Anyway, Lane convinced the Police that he was in fact the one attacked in the Whitianga incident!

So the Police charged Graeme Sturgeon with assault. At the preliminary hearing on November 30 Sturgeon pleaded Not Guilty and will appear in court again on 16 January 2018.

The Police case (Sergeant Morrison’s notes)

At about 7:40pm he (Sturgeon) then drove his Toyota vehicle towards trucks that were being used to transport 1080 at the rear of the premises.

He was then signalled to stop by a security guard, the victim in this matter, Richard Steven Perry LANE, but he continued past him and parked beside the front truck.

The victim then approached the driver’s door of the vehicle and opened it, concerned as to the risk the occupant posed.

Graeme Sturgeon following the attack

The Defendant

  • then kicked the driver’s door open fully and kicked out at the victim, striking him in the stomach.
  • then punched the victim to his jaw, before being restrained by the victim at arm’s length.
  • then attempted to punch the victim in the head area a further three times, before he was calmed down by people present.

As a result of the assault, the victim received soreness to his jaw area.

When spoken to by Police, the Defendant denied the facts as outlined and stated that he was the one assaulted.

There were no comments on injuries to the “Defendant”.

Graeme Surgeon remembers this about the situation following the assault:

As my nose was bleeding I staggered back to my vehicle to get some tissues to be told that I was not getting into my vehicle as it was staying where it was until the police arrived. I was happy enough with that. I then became aware that both the inside and outside locking system of the driver’s door was broken and the door hinges appeared bent as the door would not close very well. I could not lock the door.

Unregistered security?

Incognito “security” at the drop zone

On the following day (October 18), DoC’s “security” was very much in evidence at the drop loading site. The helicopters were lined up in a field behind a high fence on the boundary of the Papakai public conservation land.

Local anti-1080 activist, Dr Wendy Pond, noted that the five officers stationed behind the high “electric” fence were DoC staff (e.g. the female warranted officer) and possibly security staff or HeliResources staff contracted by DoC. 

However, the “security” at the drop zone were very much incognito, wearing sunglasses and beanies, had no apparent IDs and would not give their names. At least one was wearing a bullet proof vest.

Furthermore,  the vehicle they used was spotted with no mileage sticker, no registration sticker, and no number plate. (See the photo alongside.)

Serious questions need to be answered

  • Why were tons of 1080 being furtively loaded at night on to trucks close to housing and shops?
  • Why didn’t DoC inform the Whitianga Fire Service it had stored 20 tons of 1080 toxin in the Whitianga CBD?
  • Why did DoC fail to use a reputable security firm?
  • Did the DoC bosses in Wellington know that their people on the ground were using unregistered security guards in Whitianga and the drop zone?
  • How could the Police believe that a 69 year old man attacked a security guard who was probably much stronger and less than half his age?
  • Do the Prime Minister and the Minister of Conservation know what procedures DoC are using for 1080 drops in the name of the government?

And the fundamental question: does the new government understand what disastrous effects 1080 drops are having on the New Zealand environment?


I travelled from Hamilton to Thames on 16 Jan 2018 where the hearing was postponed. Judge didn’t seem very happy about this and asked DOC and Police if they would be ready by 13 Feb to which they both replied they would be. Judge set down 13 and 14 Feb for two day hearing. Later that day (16 Jan) after I arrived home, I received a message saying the case had been postponed yet again because DOC and Police documents wouldn’t be ready and now the case was set down for 19 and 20 Feb. So what is going on. DOC and Police seem to be stalling and wasting taxpayers money that this country can’t afford to do. Or do they know they have no case against Graeme Sturgeon and in fact it is DOC and their security team who should be in court facing assault charges. Is this a case of Police trumped up charges that they know they are going to be in the shit again for. They have recently had invoices sent to them for trumped up warrants for arrest, with no signatures or a judge’s seal, and charges dropped by them, leading to case being thrown out. Just shows how corrupt DOC is. The security company they employed was illegal as it was only registered on 12 Dec 2017 even the security guards we acting illegally as they only received COAs on 12 Dec 2017 too. Interesting to note this alleged incident as we all know happened two months prior on 17 October 2017 .

DoC confirmed from an OIA response received on 11th December, that 23,000kg of 1080 was stored at that site, near the Liquor King Store at 20 Joan Gaskell Drive, Whitianga, from 8th June until 17th October. However DoC did not even apply to the Waikato Medical Officer of Health ( !!) for the sign-off to do the local 1080 drop UNTIL AUGUST and received the permit on September 23. ( From another OIA response)

So this huge quantity of 1080 bait was stored in the middle of the town for FOUR MONTHS, and DoC confirmed that they did not inform the Fire Chief “because they were not required to”. They are required to have an emergency response plan. If there had been a fire, such as there was in Murupara in 2006 when brodifacoum baits caught fire, and 18 people were hospitalised from the toxic fumes, then Whitianga would have to be evacuated.

This is beacause if 1080 baits caught fire, toxic Hydrogen fluoride gas would be released, as stated on the MSDS manufacturer’s safety data sheet.

This storage of Class 1A ecotoxin in a busy CBD, near people’s homes is the height of reckless irresponsibility on the part of DoC. This government agency is out of control, breaches so many laws it’s not funny. In fact it’s damn serious bordering on the criminal IMHO.

SJB, i was there.The video footage has been clipped.The so called security personal attacked first.They broke every rule in the book and yet you still defend them.Just shows you put bullshit above the law.

I am always surprised at the information M/s SJ Boyde obtains, she insists she is not paid by the pro poison party but she obtains the most interesting information supporting poison use in NZ.

It is a great shame that her informants fill her with such rubbish and it is equally sad that her capacity for independent thought is so reduced. My sympathy to those close to her.

Poison remains dangerous as do the poisoners who are mostly bully boys and girls hired to intimidate real thinking and concerned NZ citizens. They incite violence and if that doesn’t work they dish it out or man-handle those who protest.

This is not the country I grew up in full of hope after the second World War, after members of my family fought fought freedom , they suffered for us and many died. It wasn’t so a bunch of money making zealots , hell-bent on creating a new wild place with no introduced species and not at all worried about poisoning our water and spoiling our rural and bush lands.

Bill Benfield you should know that Sue Jensen Boyd knows everything. But then in saying that there’s also a lot she doesn’t know

I hope the police are also following up on complaints about 1080 baits being loaded within a few metres of residential housing, with no warning signs. I’d like to know if these people were notified that this was going to happen, considering baits and dust could have been a risk to them and their domestic animals.

Sue Boyde. What shower did you come down in. What are 1080 pellets if they are not bait, also sacks can split and cause a spillage, and also have dust residue on them which can blow away. The pellets or dust can also easily end up on the ground, in this case a concrete car park and then be washed away down the drain and into any near by water supply. DOC was acting illegally, they didn’t have permit or licence required by the fire service to store dangerous chemicals. The Whitianga Fire Chief was unaware of 1080 being stored at the site and from reports was not too happy or impressed with DOC.

Sounds a bit like Sue Jensen Boyde has had her latest instruction from the hot line of DoC spin doctor, Herb Christophers. How else would she know about the CCTV footage?

I read about it in a news story as far as I recall. But it may have been in a comment on one of the anti groups.

I know you folks love to claim that I’m a shill. But you are lying, you have no evidence, and there’s no way you could get any evidence – because it’s not true.

The Police viewed CCTV camera footage and interviewed the parties, and their statement of facts is quite different to Graeme Sturgeon’s version. I wonder if this article transgresses rules about not pre-litigating a case that is sub judice?

I await with interest the outcome of the trial, which is scheduled for mid January 2018.

That will be because DoC staff lie there their teeth on a daily basis. The police report taken from the security guard is completely false.

The people responsible for poisoning our environment and killing most cruelly near everything in our forests that eat 1080 directly or indirectly by scavenging dead toxic body’s are in denial of their wrongdoing and crimes against the wildlife environment and the rural people affected.

They have nearly wiped out Kea with 1080 and this is just one example and they know it, but just like the use of other poisons in the past, such as 245t, they will never man up and admit their folly, but rather deny and lay blame elsewhere. In this case on elderly well meaning environmentalist who happened to catch them out secretly performing their dodgy actions behind public view. Something is very wrong in our country and it needs sorting out.