Kaikōura road workers given permission to kill seals

Road workers rebuilding State Highway 1 near Kaikōura have been granted permission to kill and disturb native fur seals.

KiwiRail and the NZ Transport Agency applied for the Department of Conservation (DoC) permit under the Marine Mammals Protection Act.

This means taking, killing, injuring, herding or disturbing the native fur seals around Ohau point are all authorised.

Safety measures must be put in place to try and mitigate possible deaths, but no one will be held to account if they fail to work.

DoC's assessment report says disturbance from machinery, rockfall and people could injure or kill mothers and pups if those measures aren't taken.

This includes blasting slips and rockwork at low tide, having handlers and minders to get the mammals out of the way, and minimising the risk with fences.