Thursday, October 29, 2009


We are at Rotorua, showing Poisonoing Paradise - 6.30pm - at the Taharangi Marae, Thursday 29/10/09.
Tarewa Rd, off Lake Rd.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


1080 use threatened by organised opposition
Home » News » Farming
By Neal Wallace on Mon, 19 Oct 2009

Future aerial application of 1080 could become more difficult as opponents of the poison become more organised, according to Animal Health Board chairman John Dalziell.

This was despite the board and the Department of Conservation seeking and receiving official approval from the Environmental Risk Management Authority (Erma) for the continued use of the poison, albeit with stricter controls.

"The process of registration was a democratic and open forum that produced recommendations around further use of 1080. We would have thought that the process would have alleviated some of the concerns of those opposing the use of 1080 but it seems to have had a reverse effect and stimulated their activity," he said.

Mr Dalziell was responding to the decision of Dunedin city councillor Fliss Butcher to seek a public debate about the aerial use of 1080 nationally and within the city. She also rejected Erma's ruling, claiming it was rigged, favouring instead comments from a friend who has been a hunter for 40 years and the content of two films by opponents of the poison, Clyde and Steve Graf.

Westland and Taupo district councils have taken political stances against aerial use of 1080, and sought an end to its use.

Mr Dalziell said district councils had no role as a consenting authority for aerial 1080 operations, but if the anti-1080 momentum was to grow among councillors, their agitation and lobbying could make its use more difficult.

He questioned whether councillors who were driving the debate were representative of the wider community or were pushing their own agenda.

"If they were to take it to an election platform, what will be the ratepayers' view and will they vote more anti-1080 people on to council? If they do, then we've got some issues."

He took heart that last week three North Island district councils publicly supported the continued use of aerial 1080 operations. Mr Dalziell acknowledged there was an initial cost to wildlife and biodiversity with 1080, but said there were greater long-term gains for flora and fauna, in addition to reducing infection rates of bovine tuberculosis.

Fifteen years ago his area of the lower North Island was endemic with bovine Tb and there were very few native birds.

"Today, after initial aerial and ground 1080 in the bush areas and ongoing vector control with a range of different methods, there is not one Tb-infected herd in our district and we have an abundance of native birds."

The number of infected herds in the Wellington region had fallen from 330 in 1994 to four in 2009, while the reduction in Otago was equally spectacular, from 290 in mid 1990s to 14 at June 30th. Nationally, infection levels have fallen over that time from around 1200 to 130.
Mr Dalziell said Animal Health Board staff regularly talked with councils if they were aware of concerns, and would be happy to meet with the DCC.

"Cr Butcher is entitled to her views, but I am sure the council will be seeking to be well informed on the issues of 1080 before making a decision, rather than move on the personal views of one councillor," he said.


Kaikoura mayor wants 1080 ban

By EMMA DANGERFIELD - The Marlborough Express
Last updated 12:00 20/10/2009

The Mayor of Kaikoura is to push for a ban on 1080 in the region. The call by Kevin Heays for the ban on the possum control poison comes on the eve of a major application of 1080 in the Kaikoura district.

The Animal Health Board is due to begin ground control of possums in the Hapuku Buffer and Kowhai/Swyncombe area. The board's community relations adviser, Simon Andrew, was not prepared to go public on whether or not the controversial toxin would be used as part of the operation, saying both control methods and toxins would be negotiated with individual landowners.

Mr Heays said the use of 1080 was something he felt "very strongly about" and he would present a recommendation to the council next month that it ban the use of 1080 within its borders.

"During the ensuing month, I intend to research the processes other councils have followed to accomplish this and to gather as much relevant information in support of such a recommendation," he said.

Mr Heays attended the screening of the Graf brothers' movie, Poisoning Paradise – Ecocide in New Zealand, shown at the Mayfair Theatre in Kaikoura in July. While Mr Heays acknowledged that the movie strongly supported one side of the 1080 debate, he encouraged Kaikoura councillors to watch the movie as part of their research into the subject.

If the Kaikoura District Council votes for a ban, it will be the third council to take action against use of 1080 this year.

Westland District Council voted earlier this year to oppose aerial 1080 operations around drinking water catchments after submissions from opponents of the toxin, which is approved for use for pest and possum control. At the same time the council reaffirmed its support for ground application of 1080 baits.

Earlier this month Taupo District Council passed a motion to develop a sustainable alternative possum eradication and trapping programme, and to immediately abolish all aerial dropping of 1080 poison.

Mr Heays said he was keen to research alternative methods for possum control and his personal opinion was that he would like to see the end to the use of 1080 entirely. He would be looking closely at the alternative options and would welcome any input.

Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman called Mr Heays' recommendation that 1080 be banned in the Kaikoura district as, "a brave move, particularly when the controlling authority there is not the Kaikoura District Council but Environment Canterbury".

The 1080 issue had not yet been addressed by the Marlborough District Council but Mr Sowman was aware of a range of viewpoints among councillors with environmental policy committee chairwoman Jill Bunting openly opposed.

The stance of Westland, Taupo and now Kaikoura councils had brought the issue into the open, said Mr Sowman. "We certainly acknowledge that aerial dropping of 1080 [for possum control] does pose some major issues and like other councils we would support investigation of alternative methods [of possum control]."

In September, Marlborough District Council approved resource consent for the aerial application of 1080 poison in the Waihopai Valley. Contractor to the Animal Health Board, Valley Pest Control, sought a discharge to water permit for the planned drop over 7000 hectares of Department of Conservation reserve and 4200ha of private land in the lower Waihopai Valley and Waihopai-Spray.

Ground drops were planned over a further 18,000ha.

The Animal Health Board programme manager for Canterbury and Marlborough, Ron Walker, said this drop would go ahead as soon as the weather had settled. The amount of 1080 applied annually varied significantly depending on the need for vector control, he said. The 1080 was used to kill possums and rats, but stoats were also killed through secondary poisoning.

In Kaikoura in 2007/2008, 40 tonnes of 1080 were applied to 16,000 hectares at a cost of about $420,000. In 2008/2009 no 1080 was applied in the region, said Mr Walker.
In Marlborough in 2008/2009 28.5 tonnes of 1080 were applied to 14,200 ha at a cost of about $350,000.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Following Taupo District Council’s resolution to advocate against the aerial application of 1080, an advocacy group has been formed to carry out Council’s decision.
Media Release

13 October 2009

Taupo District Council 1080 advocacy group gearing up

Following Taupo District Council’s resolution to advocate against the aerial application of 1080, an advocacy group has been formed to carry out Council’s decision.

The Taupo District Council 1080 advocacy committee is aware of and concerned by the aerial dropping of 1080 poison, and is developing an action plan to achieve the resolution set out by Council in September.

The advocacy group will be investigating responsible solutions to pest management; however the groups main aim is to declare war on the indiscriminate aerial dropping of 1080. “We are in the initial stages of writing letters to regional and district councils and other concerned parties, both for and against 1080, with a series of questions around its potential threat to the environment,” said the groups chairman Cr Don Ormsby.

The group, whose members are Taupo District Mayor Rick Cooper, Councillor and Turangi-Tongariro Community Board Chairman Don Ormsby, the Graf Boys Clyde and Steve Graf producers of the documentary ‘Poisoning Paradise’, and Graham Sperry of the NZ Wildlands Bio Diversity Management Society Inc. met today for the first time in the Mayors office at Taupo District Council.

Councillor Don Ormsby said he is excited to be working with such a passionate group of people. “We don’t expect everyone will like what we are doing, but we feel strongly that we are taking the right steps toward a clean green future for our children and their children.”


For further information contact:
Councillor Don Ormsby
Taupo District Council


We're heading to Christchurh for 3 screanings.

The venues are.

Wed. 21st October, Richmond workingmen's club 7pm

Thursday 22nd, Riccarton workingmen's club 7pm

Friday 23rd, Woolston workingmens club 7pm

Entry $5 on the door. See you there!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

They're watching us in Iowa City, USA

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Wednesday, 7th October, 8:00-10:00pm at the Cinematheque E105 Adler Journalism Building, University of Iowa, 140 W. Washington Street, Iowa City. Everyone is welcome to the screening of Poisoning Paradise - a documentary by The Graf Boys about the effects of 1080 poison on wildlife and people and the battle to get its use banned in New Zealand. Released in 2009.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What is The Alternative to aerial 1080 poison operations in New Zealand?

When people ask this question, they are really asking, innocently perhaps ... what's the alternative to mass scale animal cruelty, contaminating pristine water supplies, blanket poisoning of plants, lethally and sub-lethally poisoning un-targeted wildlife and endangering native wildlife?

How do we stop producing poor quality advocacy science to support the poison industry, mis-leading the world with regard to NZ's Clean Green image, risking damage to international export markets, risking the health of people, ignoring international health warnings, and breaching civil rights?

Is it really that bad? Well that's what's happening at the moment.

To suggest an alternative is needed, would suggest there is a problem. This is debated by the people in power.

It would be better to stop - and do nothing - than to use aerial 1080 poison in New Zealand!

However, few are suggesting that we do nothing.

Perhaps we don't have a possum problem in New Zealand at all. Perhaps we have a bureaucracy problem - a bureaucracy that feeds fear of the "possum", into the minds of the public.

Or perhaps we have a possum opportunity.

The most community-friendly "alternative" for this small country, New Zealand, is ground control of pests. That is - people on the ground, using responsible, targeted humane poisons, and good trapping techniques.

It can be achieved, with a well orchestrated, national management plan that starts by targeting key areas of importance - such as bird sanctuaries, and areas in need of tuberculosis (TB) management - and then extends to other areas, in order of importance. There is scientific evidence to suggest that rugged terrain doesn't even need to be controlled. Targeting the more manageable country is enough. The Animal Health Board has also proved that ground control is successful in managing TB.

The Alternative
Why is ground control the best way? Because it is specific with its target. Poisons are NOT cast all over the countryside, and across waterways, for non-targeted animals to consume. Poisonous carcasses, and baits, are NOT left to decompose and to poison other non-target animals. Ground control is the responsible management method.

The problem we currently have to deal with is people in positions of power trumpeting that ground control isn't an option. This is nonsense. They are defeating the true clean, green NZ method of control before it is given a chance to work. We need to re-program this thinking pattern, to re-educate these advocates of toxins, or have them replaced with people that encourage a different type of talk - the type that says "we must stop poisoning this country, and use people on the ground, with non-secondary, humane poisons, good trapping techniques, and that encourages employment and industry."

History is full of people that said Man couldn't fly, Man couldn't build a harbour bridge, Man couldn't drill a 10-kilometre tunnel from Manapouri to Deep Cove, that Man couldn't put a train tunnel through a mountain, that Man couldn't conquer Everest, that Man can't control a few possums in our forests ... and so it goes on.

Enough of what can't be done. It's time to concentrate on what must be done!

New Zealand needs to spend 200 million dollars per year if necessary (not just the 100 million + that it is currently spent on poisoning operations) on encouraging, supporting and developing sound ground control methods. We need to pay to get this country back to its clean, green status. If some screeech 'We can't afford it', I am sure the tourism industry, the export industries, and even the rest of the world will help out. There is always a way, when a positive direction is set.

Besides, after income from export products are taken into account, that 200 million is reduced to 100 million - so the investment is the same as the poisonous option anyway. It's a no-brainer!

Authorities suggest that if ground operators are making money from the possums, they should not receive payment for doing the work. They are happy to spend over 100 million dollars contaminating this country, for no return, but they are not willing to cough up to support the man trying to make a living from responsible management. This is also nonsense. We must pay our workers well, encourage them, increase the number of warm huts in the back country, increase the track networks, utilise helicopters, and build the New Zealand bushman into an icon - a brave, tough, committed mountain man or woman - that young people, and people with interests in the outdoors, will want to emulate.

Employment in Rural Areas
New Zealand has plenty of rural areas where Maori live, for example. Many of them are unemployed. Here is a perfect opportunity to encourage rural Maori into forest management, long-term employment, and a positive future.

We can then build a strong industry from our wild animal management, and create a win-win situation, where we are earning export dollars, using responsible management methods, and keeping our country healthy, happy and employed.

Bounty System
We suggest using a bounty system, to keep track of possum numbers and encourage interest in the community. To simply spout that a bounty doesn't work, stems viable solutions, before they get traction. A bounty has worked in the past, and it can work again. Ironically, it was a bounty that helped extinct one of our endemic birds, the Huia.

Trapping is also effective in rat and mustelid (Stoat, Weasel, Ferret) capture. There should be monetary incentives for the capture of these species. We know that aerial 1080 poison operations increase rat numbers x 3, compared to areas with no control (Ruscoe study 2008), and that this causes stoats to switch their diet to birds. The Murphy study (1998) shows the bird component of their diet at 6% pre 1080-drop, compared with 56% post-1080 drop.

The possum has one offspring per year, so they cannot out-breed good management. It's unlikely that there are 70 million possums in this country. This is another propaganda line tossed around by the proponents of poisons. The possum population is below 30 million, based on national observation by experts with whom we converse.

We don't have a possum problem in this country, we have a bureaucracy problem.

We don't have a possum problem, we have a possum opportunity.

Until we have people with positive goals for New Zealand's environment, its image, its wellbeing and its future at the helm, the common-sense alternative will never be realised.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


We're heading to Northland this week.....

Tues 6th Oct: Kaitaia, 7pm. Community Centre, Little Theatre, opposite the info centre on corner South Rd and Matthews Ave.

Weds 7th Oct: Panguru, 1.30pm. Ngatimanawa Marae.

Thurs 8th Oct: Pawarenga, 1.30pm. Community Trust & Resource Centre (by Pawarenga Health Centre).
Thurs 8th Oct: Rawene, 7pm. RAD room, opposite Masonic Hotel.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Media Statement – For immediate release
Friday 2 October 2008

Dunne applauds Taupo District Council

UnitedFuture Leader Peter Dunne has applauded Taupo District Council’s decision to abolish all aerial 1080 operations within its area of jurisdiction.

A motion was passed:
1. To develop a sustainable alternative possum eradication and trapping program.
2. Abolish all aerial dropping of 1080 poison forthwith.

“Taupo District Council has made a far-sighted and courageous decision,” said Mr Dunne.

“It is particularly pleasing to see a local authority respond to the concerns of its community and take a stand against the cruel and indiscriminate practice of aerially applying 1080 poison.”

“I congratulate not only the councillors for reaching this decision but also the opponents of aerial 1080, particularly Clyde and Steve Graf, and the NZ Wildlands Biodiversity Management Society, who were instrumental in getting this result.”

Taupo joins Westland District Council in opposing aerial 1080 use.

“Taupo and Westland are great success stories, yet the fight against aerial 1080 goes on around the rest of New Zealand.”

“I hope the result in Taupo will prompt other communities to consider their stance on aerial poisoning programs.”

“For too long DoC, the Animal Health Board and regional councils have leaned on aerial 1080 as their primary means of pest control. Finally the tide is turning and those organisations will be forced to consider alternative methods of pest control, a scenario that is long-overdue,” said Mr Dunne.


Hayden Cox
Ministerial Advisor to Hon Peter Dunne
Minister of Revenue Associate Minister of Health MP for Ohariu UnitedFuture Leader