Politicking Over Ban 1080 Party

This spring, the Department of Conservation (DOC) intends to conduct the largest aerial 1080 poison drop ever undertaken in New Zealand. Local residents bordering Kahurangi National Park are up in arms at the revelation that the Department is trying to keep the public from having any say in the matter, while operations are being planned on the basis of incomplete science. Ban 1080 Press release

Who’s objecting to the party name?

Laura Mills and Brendon McMahon Reporters for the Grey Star

Stop the dropTb Free and the Department of Conservation deny objecting to the registration of the ‘Ban 1080’ political party — but no one will say who did.

The Electoral Commission confirmed today it had received six objections to registering the new party, but due to privacy reasons it was unable to release their details.

Concerns appeared to centre around intellectual property and/ or trademarks of the term ‘1080’.

The Hokitika Guardian has now lodged a request under the Official Information Act to unmask the objecting parties.

Attempts to block BAN 1080

1080 pure crueltyDOC said today it did not get involved in the electoral process, while Tb Free (Animal Health Board) said it had not objected either. They are the only two organisations that use the controversial poison.

The commission confirmed yesterday it was seeking a legal opinion after the objections were received. With the September election looming, Ban 1080 is getting nervous.

Party founder, Bill Wallace, said they already had the requisite 500 members, but were waiting to receive official recognition of the name and logo, even though it made the commission’s deadline of June 19 for official registration in time for the September 20 election.

The Electoral Commission’s delay in its decision to officially register the party’s logo and name could result in the Ban 1080 Party being prevented from contesting the party vote at the upcoming elections, Mr Wallace said.

Of the six submissions, the wording in five was “identical,” raising the issue of intellectual property rights and objection to the use of 1080 as a registered trade name in New Zealand.

Playing politics over a name

Mr Wallace said 1080 was not a registered trade name in New Zealand, something his party knew prior to seeking registration.

The party had responded to the objections within the time frame given, but the commission came back on Friday to say it would now need to seek an independent legal opinion.

They’ve waited for a legal opinion until it’s too late,” Mr Wallace said. That potentially left the party unable to register an alternative logo and name in time for the election if the objections were upheld, he said. The commission indicated it would receive a legal opinion tomorrow, with a finding expected by Thursday (August 7), Mr Wallace said.

Communications manager for the Electoral Commission, Anastasia Turnbull said it was currently considering whether the term ‘1080’ infringed an intellectual property right in New Zealand.