Ban 1080 Goes Political

1080 is a metabolic poison that is extremely toxic to all air-breathing organisms. BAN1080 Party website

A party for conservation

By Roger Childs

Impact of 1080Supporters for a total ban on all 1080 poisoning have formed a party to contest the September election. There has been growing disquiet over Department of Conservation (DoC), policies, which claim that the dropping  poison pellets in our forests is helpful in eliminating pests and preserving bird life. Sadly, over many years the public has been subjected to 1080 myth-making based on scientific deception and political manipulation.

1080 dropDoC’s on-going policy on dropping 1080 poison on the landscape has had the support of a number of heavyweights, including

~ successive governments
~ Minister of Conservation, Nick Smith
~ Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright
~ Federated Farmers
~ Forest and Bird.

Furthermore they have even sucked in the Green Party: There is scientific evidence that aerial poison does benefit our forests by reducing the threat of pest animals. Party website

Politicising an issue that affects us all

The Third WaveThe huge damage done by 1080 poison drops has been an issue which has slipped under the public radar for many years. DoC’s proclamations have been supported by obliging scientists and endorsed by propaganda from high profile groups like Forest and Bird and Federated Farmers.

Many scientists have done careful research pointing out the dangers and killing power of 1080 for everything that breathes from birds and insects to dogs and small children. The seminal work on the subject is Bill Benfield’s book The Third Wave: Poisoning the Land. (See Leslie Clague’s earlier KIN article

Leslie will pick up on the 1080 issue again in her July column.

Bill has also written an excellent article: What’s Up DoC? in the February/March issue of Investigate magazine. This summarises a key thesis of his book, that the bogus scientific ideas of influential, but under-qualified government scientist, Leonard Cockayne, have led to an obsession with eliminating browsing animals in the New Zealand wild.

The message is spreading

1080 signThe Ban 1080 Party is growing: see details of what it stands for on

It now has over 700 signatures so that means the party can be registered. Look for it on the ballot paper in September: the name is a potent message.

There is also heightened interest on the 1080 issue from New Zealand First. Spokesman, MP Richard Prosser has announced:’our policy position is to end the use of aerial 1080, and replace it with a programme of ground-based operations including trapping and bait stations. It is agreed by caucus and unequivocal.’

 The big question is whether, having the balance of power, NZ First would stick to its policy.