Volunteers who are finally able to return to pest control work were shocked to find native birds shot on the Whangamata Golf Course.

A kereru or native wood pigeon and two tui are among the birds that have been found dead on the course and native eels that were abundant in the stream on the Titoki course have also been taken.

"It looks like someone has been on a rampage killing native birds on the course," says John McCombe, who is president of the Whangamata Harbour Care group.

The group carries out predator control on harbour margins and branched out to include the golf course, where traps had made a positive impact on the native bird life.


John was out on the first day of level 2 checking traps when he found the dead bird near forest.

"The bird had fallen out of the tree and clung onto the lowest branch with both its feet still attached to the branch. Most people would be horrified, particularly when they are just starting to come back to Whangamata."

Another two native tui were then found dead and John says an air rifle appears to have been used.

The course has been closed for six weeks during level 4 and 3 and has had no occupation.

In that time, around half the eels that were thriving in a stream on the course have been caught and members have found hidden fishing lines.