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The Christchurch Press - online today...
Furious protesters chanting "stop the drop" filled the streets of the usually peaceful
West Coast town of Hokitika today.
An estimated 300 anti-1080 protesters marched through the main street, demanding aerial dropping of 1080 in the region be stopped.
Some protesters carried a coffin while another, perched upon a trailer, spun a wheel suggesting the terrible outcomes of the poison.
The protesters gathered outside the Westland District Council to present council members with a petition stating that 92 per cent of people in the area opposed 1080.
Mayor Maureen Pugh told the crowd she found the numbers "mind-boggling" and said the council would fulfil its "obligation" to the community as government representatives.
The use of 1080 poison has been a long running issue on the West Coast, however authorities claim to have no other options in their fight against pests.
And in response, and just in from the Westland District Council.....
5.6 Operation Swoop Petition and Farmers Against Ten Eighty – 1080 Petition
It was noted that Councillor Allen Hurley had signed the 1080 petition.
Moved Her Worship the Mayor, seconded Councillor Eggeling and Resolved that Council receive the petition and agrees to forward it to MP Chris Auchinvole as Chair of the Local Government and Environment Select Committee for action.
Moved Councillor Hustwick, seconded Councillor Birchfield and Resolved that:
1. Westland District Council, while recognising that they currently have no legal authority to enforce this action, have a strong desire to have Westland District 1080 free, and will advocate with interest groups for that to occur; and
2. Council will commence proceedings to make the use of 1080 a prohibited activity in the Westland District Plan; and
3. Recognising the threat that TB has on the Westland economy, Council will work with Department of Conservation and the Animal Health Board in applying to Development West Coast for funding to implement an alternative method of possum control, including trapping or other ground control methods.
The results of the petitions...
Kumara 216 polled 212 signatures 98%
Hokitika 1156 polled 1035 signatures 89.5%
Ross 186 polled 177 signatures 95%
Ruatapu 51 polled 44 signatures 86%
Harihari 215 polled 201 signatures 93.5%