Visit - Health and Safety

Be prepared
Have the right gear
Check the weather
Call 111

KH. Not sure if we need to include toxic plants, suuuurely it’s common sense not to eat plants you’re not familiar with?
I think “have the right gear” can cover allergies
Boat stuff should be covered by the skipper when people are onboard, don’t think it’s necessary for the website. 
JS. Agree to all of the above. Would also like to include something in here re fire risk/total fire ban and where the allocated BBQ areas are, which I am still not quite sure of myself to be honest.

KH. I don’t know whether we should include the ranger phone number here or not…. JS. No harm including the landline

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Visit - Health and Safety

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Health & Safety
The island is a fantastic place to visit but, as with all outdoor trips, please make sure you are prepared for the weather conditions, are aware of the potential hazards on the island, and observe the hazard controls identified below. A printable version for school briefings can be downloaded here.

Slips, Trips and Falls
Tracks can be slippery when wet.
There are sharp objects such as oyster shells on the beach.
Take care of barbed wire on fences.
Stiles can be slippery if wet.
Climbing on bricks, walls and other ruins structures is not permitted.
Take care or avoid steep areas, particularly quarry edges and faces where the lime rock can be unstable.
- Suitable closed toe foot-wear is required
- Keep to the walking tracks
- Supervise children at all times

Ruins and Historic Structures
One of the unique features of Matakohe-Limestone Island is the old cement works ruins and associated structures. They can be viewed easily from the cleared tracks but off the tracks these sites contain old concrete blocks and rusty metal and other hazardous items that could potentially cause cuts, falls and crush injuries. For this reason all visitors must remain on the tracks.
- Do not climb on or around the old cement ruins
- Keep to the tracks through these areas
- Keep off the derelict wharf beside the island pontoon.
- Supervise children at all times

Traps and Poison
There are numerous wooden box traps set around the island, many along walking tracks. These contain 'DOC 200' stoat traps and 'Victor rodent snap traps' are set to catch any invading stoats or rats. They are capable of breaking fingers.

The entire island has a grid of bait stations at 25m by 25m intervals (ie. several hundred), containing a poison (active toxin - bromodiolone) to control rats and mice. This toxin is harmful to humans if ingested. There are two types of baitstation on the island, one is a short length of 100mm drainage coil pinned to the ground with a piece of wire while the other is a purpose-built plastic box.
- Please DO NOT TOUCH trap boxes or bait stations
- Supervise children at all times

Toxic Plants
Some plants on the island are very poisonous e.g. ngaio and oleander.
- Do not chew on, or place vegetation in your mouth

Society boat - Petrel Tua Toru
If you are traveling (usually a group or school class) in the Society's boat you must take the following precautions:
- Follow the skippers instructions at all times
- Non-swimmers and young children to wear life jackets (provided)
- Stay seated while the boat is underway
- Remain seated on arrival until the skipper says it is okay to disembark
- Keep hands inside the boat coming alongside the pontoons to avoid injury

Swimming and Wading
Strong currents exist around parts of the island with tidal movement, particularly at the island pontoon.
Oysters encrust rocks at most beaches and can cut unwary swimmers.
There are a number of dams on the island, some of which have slippery and steep sides.
- Take care when swimming and supervise children at all times.

At certain times of the year, the grass on the island produces a lot of pollen.
There are also bees, wasps and nettles present.
- Bring appropriate medication with you if you suffer allergic reactions to these or other environmental factors
- Keep to the tracks

Emergency contacts
Please note there is patchy or no cell phone coverage on the eastern/south-eastern sides of the island (coverage is approximately line of site with the cell tower at the top of Parahaki).
Ranger Phone (09) 436 0923

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