Graeme Sturgeon’s account
By Stephanie McKee
“Three elders, with myself one of them, were camped at Kaimarama near the river ready to bear witness to the dropping of toxins into the Whitianga water supply.
As I have suffered the effects of Agent Orange for just on 50 years now, I have a particular interest in aerial deployed toxins into my or anyone else’s water supplies.
Just as it was getting dark, I received a phone call telling me that there was a strong smell from the lure mixed with the 1080 bait and the caller had observed bags of bait being loaded out of a warehouse in the middle of Whitianga.
Returning to Whitianga
I set off in my campervan followed by my two women companions in their own cars anxious to get a photo of such flagrant abuse of the law of common sense and other laws pertaining to the safe storage of a Class 1A Ecotoxin.
I drove down the dark alley next to the Liquor King Building and there was no sign of human activity until I made a right angle turn at the back of the building. There in front of me was an estimated six large trucks lined up two abreast.
There were no signs, barricades, taped off areas to show that this was anything more than a Public Parking area that it had always been.
Standing in front of the trucks were DoC personel, truck drivers and what I presumed were genuine security guards. I stopped my van, undid my seat belt and reached over to get my camera on the dash on the far side of the vehicle.
My door was then opened by a man dressed in dark clothing who approached my vehicle from an angle where I could not see him.
He never spoke so I had no idea at this time what his intentions were, but I ended up out of my vehicle, with a sprained shoulder, a bloody nose and my clothes ripped to pieces.
I have been charged with Common Assault!
It is now certain that the fiasco on the evening of October 17th, 2016, outside Liquor King Warehouse, in the Whitianga CBD, is going to turn into a long drawn out, down in the gutter affair.
Two court cases
I have had two court cases since that night and now a two-day trial has been set down for February 19th and 20th, 2018, at the Thames Courthouse. I have to leave the rest of this story to be decided in Court for fear I may prejudice this case.
So far my wife and I have paid the costs out of our own pockets and we greatly appreciate the many generous offers of financial support that we have received.”
You can contribute here to help Graeme and Julie with their legal expenses to challenge this bizarre turn of events:
Two women also responded to the call and drove back into the Whitianga CBD to investigate. Dr Wendy Pond is an academic who has researched the legal issues underlying aerial poisoning. She believes that the DoC aerial 1080 operations breach so many statutes that they are unlawful.
Diana Halstead is an artist who lives on the Thames Coast who witnessed the disappearance of a pair of rare karearea after the 1080 drop in 2013. Hawks, moreporks and kaka also disappeared.
Security guard after car keys
The guard invaded Wendy’s car and tried to grab her car keys, but she managed to fend him off.
The security guard also invaded Diana’s car but she grabbed her car keys first.
In both cases the guard acted without consent, explanation nor identification.
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.
The Coromandel Police passed their statements on to the Whitianga Police, and there things sat with no response for over a fortnight.
(To be continued.)