Four ducks euthanized after NZ oil spill

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HMN-Four ducks were euthanized after an oil spill from a New Zealand industrial site. reports that some of the oil may have entered the nearby Oreti river.

Four ducks were euthanised following a large spill of used oil into a Southland waterway.

Environment Southland was notified of the oil spill in a tributary of the Winton Stream on Thursday night but only alerted the public on Monday afternoon through a Facebook post.

Oil from industrial premises in Winton had entered the stormwater system and had been discharged into a tributary of the Winton Stream.

Environment Southland compliance manager Simon Mapp said trucks were dispatched to suck up the oil after they were notified on Thursday night.

Oil booms were placed in the near the stormwater outlet on Price Rd and downstream near culverts in an effort to contain the spill.

The oil was visible at Price Rd and Gap Road West.

 The majority of the oil had been cleaned up by Friday but the council received a report of more oil on a small duck pond on Sunday, Mapp said.The oil had covered some ducks that had since been euthanised by the complainant, he said.

Mapp believed that the further oil that had been found had been discharged from the original source or was stuck to the sides of the stormwater system and been flushed out by higher flows.

It was hard to determine how much oil had been spilled but the two, 25,000 litre trucks sent to suck up the spill were full with a mix of oil and water, he said.

Mapp clarified that Public Health South, the Southland District Council, Department of Conservation, local iwi and Fish & Game had all been notified of the spill.

It was not known how far the spill reached and it was possible some oil may have made it into the Oreti River, Mapp said.

Mapp was confident they had found the business responsible for the spill but could not identify it as the incident was still under investigation, he said.

Southland Fish and Game manager Zane Moss said an officer had visited the site to see how significant it was and if they could make any contribution to the clean up.

Moss was of the understanding around 1000 litres of oil had been spilled.

The biggest concern was the impact it could have on ducks and other waterfowl, Moss said.

Moss was aware that the four ducks had been euthanised after coming into contact with the oil, he said.

There would have been a significant impact on wildlife if the oil had made its way down the Oreti River to the New River Estuary.

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