The following segments are from the Greymouth Star newspaper, Wednesday July 7, 2010...
...West Coast police say documentary makers jammed their camera through the window of a police car, breaking it, during a skirmish with anti -1080 protesters at Waitaha yesterday...
Anti -1080 film-makers Clyde and Steve Graf could not be contacted this morning as they were back filming the final throes of the big poison drop in South Westland, but they told TV3 last night their camera was grabbed and the cable broken off in an unprovoked attack by a policeman.
The article goes on to say...
(Inspector John Canning made the following statement)..."As I understand it, the police car pulled up and the camera was jammed through the open window and into the face of an officer."
He said it was the action of one person acting "rudely." "Perhaps that's why a complaint has not been made."
Steve and I were there to film the poison drops, and the protest sites. We were not there to protest, we were quietly going about our business, and were in no way behaving rudely.
In response to the comments that were made in the Greymouth Star, and the Hokitika Guardian, a video clip of the event has been passed to a representative, Mr. Wyn Hibberd, and posted on you-tube, the link is below.
A large truck, laden with 1080 poison, was due to deliver its load to a helicopter loading site. It was between the hours of 7.30pm and 9.30pm on Monday evening, the 5th of July, when the incident unfolded.
Protesters, young and old, had gathered to demonstrate their disapproval of the aerial 1080 poison operation that was to cover 90,000 hectares of the forests that surround their homes.
1080 is a deadly poison that can kill any insect, and any animal that breathes air, including native birds. 1080 (Sodium monofluoroacetate) has no taste, no smell, and no antidote.
It is manufactured in the U.S., in a small factory based in Alabama.
It is dropped from helicopters, contained in attractive food, across New Zealand forests. It is used to target possums and rats, but also kills large numbers of deer, birds, and is also extremely toxic to dogs.
One thing's for sure, the effects of using 1080 poison reach far beyond the forest margins.
The protesters, and the police, are becoming more and more involved with every drop.
1080 is not just poisonous to consume, but it's poisonous in a social context as well.
To view the video clip of the police-protest incident - click here