Correction: the trampers were on the Nydia, not the Heaphy Track.
Sadly this is what has happened on more than one occasion in (not) clean green New Zealand. A warning about 1080 poison a Class 1A Ecotoxin that unbelievably NZ authorities claim is not very dangerous: our authorities do not practice the precautionary principle with the spreading of 1080 poison. In fact they are now legally allowed to drop it into your waterways without the previously required consents, even though the manufacturer’s warning says take care not to drop it into the waterways. Whilst they continue to claim it is harmless, there is much independent research that says otherwise. (See 1080science for further independent info). In light of that, in my opinion it is safer to follow the precautionary principle, that is, proceed as if there were a possible risk to your health rather than assume there is none. Since 1080 is a known teratogen I believe it is particularly important for pregnant mothers or even those who think they may be or who could be pregnant, to distance themselves from an area where 1080 is being distributed, particularly aerially because of the drift of the dust over long distances.
So if you are out tramping, visiting from overseas or just an unaware local, you’d be wise to take your own drinking water (don’t use the streams, taps etc) and check very carefully with DoC when making plans to be sure there will be no drop in your vicinity. The signage it appears, is not always there to warn you. (See further notes & info below the Stuff article). EWR
A couple are angry and upset that a holiday weekend tramp through a Pelorus Sound track ended with them being “dusted” with 1080 bait.
Kaiuma Bay couple Simon and Carol Caley have written an open letter of complaint to the minister of conservation, and are also seeking an apology for his department’s “complete and utter failure to protect the public” after pellets were dropped near them from a helicopter on Saturday.
Health and conservation authorities are investigating how toxic 1080 bait was spilled on to the track.
The Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service (PHS) is investigating a breach of a condition under which a Department of Conservation (DOC) 1080 drop was permitted in Pelorus Sound over the weekend.
If you are new to the 1080 poisoning program, here is a good article to start with …
A must watch also is Poisoning Paradise, the doco made by the GrafBoys (banned from screening on NZ TV, yet a 4x international award winner). Their website is tv-wild.com. Their doco is a very comprehensive overview with the independent science to illustrate the question marks that remain over the use of this poison. There are links also on our 1080 resources page to most of the groups, pages, sites etc that will provide you with further information.
Check out the 1080 pages at the main menu, particularly the sub tab, ‘suspected 1080 poisoning cases’. Finally, remember what the retired MD Charlie Baycroft said recently …‘if you die from 1080 poisoning, nobody will know because the Ministry of Health is bullying NZ Doctors into not testing for 1080′.