The family of a Mataura possum hunter who died from 1080 poisoning 43 years ago want his death publicly acknowledged by the Department of Conservation and Animal Health Board.
Both agencies say no-one has died of accidental 1080 poisoning in New Zealand.
But Ian Buchanan’s widow, 69-year-old Elva Wicks, of Invercargill, said that was not true.
Wicks was 25 years old and the mother of three young children when her first husband, Ian Buchanan, died a “ghastly death” in Dunedin Hospital in 1966.
Coroner J Murray found Buchanan died from “central nervous system depression accompanied by respiratory and cardiac failure due to 1080 poisoning”.
The poison was found by investigators in a tin of jam kept in a back porch cupboard, but it was never discovered how the poison came to be in the jam, or how Buchanan consumed the 1080.
“If DOC and the AHB say they haven’t heard anything about Ian’s death it’s because they don’t want to hear,” Wicks said.
“It is documented on his death certificate – how can they deny it?”
AHB spokeswoman Anne McLean said the manner of Buchanan’s death was unclear.
DOC spokesman Rory Newsam said the department was unaware of Buchanan’s death until alerted by the media this week.