Well it must be getting very bad when mainstream media is concerned about the image of a woman drinking from our toxic (oops 100% pure) rivers. Seriously. Horowhenua has one of the top 10 worst polluted lakes in NZ, so toxic that ingesting it could potentially kill a small child or an animal. Then we can only swim in 40% of our rivers, how ever is the tourist going to discern which 40% they are? Signs up everywhere praps? Drink this but not that? Then there’s the 1080 issue (non issue according to the corporation) with the pellets landing in our drinking water. Ever join any dots about the soaring cancer stats? Isn’t one in 3 or less a bit high? Anyway, a warning to tourists, don’t believe the spin. Our esteemed authorities even dump sewage into the waterways here. Buy bottled water like you do in third world countries, just to be safe. We really are getting into third world status in my opinion with some places bringing home bottles from the water fountains. Oh, and on the spin, NZ is not the least corrupt nation on the planet at all … sadly that is all spin as well. (See here also). Along with the not so well known fact that we are actually a corporation and not a true government. EnvirowatchRangitikei
FIRST A 1080 POISON BUCKET IS DROPPED, AND NEXT PELLETS ARE RAINED ON TRAMPERS, IN A ‘MARLBOROUGH HELICOPTERS LTD’ DOUBLE-WHAMMY COCKUP!
This bungled 1080 drop on Mt Stanley/ Tennyson Inlet, Marlborough Sounds on 2 November 2013, may be three and a half years ago, but how many people know about it?
I have been sent two reports in the post, that give a bit more background.
1 ) “Investigation into uncommanded bucket release” by John Sinclair, NZ AAA and NZ Helicopter Assn, Occurrence Investigator
2 ) “Notes on Aerial 1080 drop 2/11/2013, Mt Stanley, Tennyson Inlet” by Phil Clerke, senior biodiversity ranger, Dept of Conservation, Picton
These two reports make for fascinating reading.
This drop was conducted by Marlborough Helicopters Ltd for the Dept of Conservation. Two pilots were involved, flying two Bell Jetrangers, ZK-HJI and ZK-HZE. The senior of the two pilots was a director of the helicopter company. The other pilot was completing only his second poison drop, “but he had considerable experience in other aerial agricultural operations and is a competent pilot with sufficient experience to undertake poison drops” Occurrence Investigator, John Sinclair said.
I shall call them Pilot One and Pilot Two.
According to the report by DoC’s Phil Clerke, Pilot One left the barge to commence his baiting, but arrived back “somewhat shaken” and minus his bucket. He had ” visibly received an impact above the eye ( I was later to learn it was from the breaking airline leading to the bucket ). I was unsure of the exact details but picked up that the bucket’s airline then struck the rotors as well. I later learned that (Pilot One) also lost partial sight in this eye.”
This report differs slightly from the Occurrence Investigator, John Sinclair’s, report which says
” …….(Pilot One) was carrying out a trickle feed of sensitive boundaries when the bucket and its load of 1080 suffered an uncommanded release from the helicopter. In the departure sequence a pneumatic control line severed and flicked up cutting the pilot’s eye”. Also the “pneumatic control line had connected with the OAT and cracked the windscreen”.
Despite this injury, Pilot One flew himself to Blenheim and came back in an R22 with a long lifting chain, after which Pilot Two went off (with the chain presumably) to recover the dropped bucket! Once this was done, Pilot One returned to Blenheim in the R22.
John Sinclair’s report has a great deal of detail about the bucket release, but he says
“I believe that the most likely cause of the uncommanded release of the cargo hook was the helicopter’s manual cargo hook release being activated, then not properly returned to the safe position before it was next used” (Human error, in other words).
Because of all this dropped bucket palaver, this meant that the less experienced pilot, Pilot Two, had to complete the sensitive boundaries – instead of now-injured & more experienced Pilot One, the one who was supposed to be doing it. John Sinclair’s report reads :
“In the course of doing this Pilot Two misjudged conditions and allowed the wind to carry a small amount of bait onto the Nydia Bay Track. Pilot Two was under considerable pressure because of the need to do another drop the next day in Golden Bay. While DoC had offered to postpone the operation there would be the logistics of barging all the bait back to Picton if the operation was curtailed. These pressures may have impacted on his subconscious, especially given that the weather windows this spring have been very few and far between.”
The bait falling “onto the Nydia Bay Track” unfortunately appears to have fallen on the trampers mentioned in the article below.
In the Occurrence Investigator John Sinclair’s report, he just refers to it thus:
“The dropping of the bucket did however impact on an adverse environmental effect later in the day”. ( The adverse environmental effect being presumably, dropping 1080 pellets on trampers.)
In the DoC report, Phil Clerke says a DoC worker, Wendy, “radioed in to pass on that she had met trampers that claimed they were rained on, on the track at the saddle”.
The trampers, incidentally, knew of the 1080 drop but had been told the track itself was SAFE as it had an exclusion zone of 20 metres.
Some questions I have are these :
1 ) Why did Pilot One fly a helicopter back to Blenheim and collect another one, when it had a cracked windscreen and he had a cut on his eye ! Not only that but he returned with another helicopter !
2 ) Why was a pilot who had only done one 1080 drop before, allowed to fly the sensitive boundaries, when as well as this the wind had got up – Phil Clerke says “the wind was noted to increase in velocity, Pilot Two and I had a discussion about this. It was still considered workable.” So pellets land on trampers!
3 ) This question should be asked of DoC : Why on earth was 1080 poison loaded onto helicopters off a barge in pristine Tennyson Inlet? The DoC report says, “A vacuum cleaner, dust brushes/ pans were to be used with the initial barge clean up to reduce wash down contamination. Wash down would only be used when no further bait fragments could be recovered.” (Meaning 1080 dust would be washed into Tennyson Inlet, presumably!)
Here is the stuff.co.nz report on this incident:
Trampers Want an Apology after Pellets Rained Down
Two trampers want an apology from Conservation Minister Nick Smith after the area around them was showered with 1080 pellets as they walked the Nydia Track in the Marlborough Sounds.
Simon and Carol Caley had set out from Duncan Bay on Saturday when they saw a 1080 warning sign and met a DOC employee who assured them helicopters would not drop pellets within 20 metres of the track.
Near the high point of the walk at Nydia Saddle, Mrs Caley heard pellets dropping through the trees and one just missed her foot. She said she felt dust on her face and neck, had an appalling taste in her mouth and breathed in a strong smell of cinnamon.
On the 22nd of August, 2014, 32,000 kilos of 1080 poison bait was cast across Mt Pirongia, near Hamilton. It was enough poison to kill 240,000 people, almost twice the population of Hamilton…
A previous 2007 drop across the mountain was “hailed a success” by Waikato Regional Council, despite farmers raising concern about contamination, including to drinking water.
The New Zealand manufacturer’s (owned by NZ Govt) 1080 poison label includes the following warnings –
“Toxic to terrestrial vertebrates.”
“Take measures to reduce of non-target animals being exposed to the toxin either through eating the baits or by scavenging the carcasses of poisoned animals.”
“Harmful to aquatic organisms.”
“Take all practicable steps to manage any harmful effects of a spillage including preventing baits from accidentally entering streams or waterways.”
“This product is toxic to wildlife. Birds and mammals feeding on carcasses of contaminated animals may be fatally poisoned.”
“Where practicable, the exposed bodies of all poisoned animals should be collected and destroyed by complete burning or deep burial in a landfill approved for hazardous substances. Dehydrated carcasses may remain dangerous to dogs or cats for an indefinite period. A single mouse poisoned by 1080 may contain enough poison to kill an adult dog.”
“Take measures to minimise the chance of baits accidentally entering any body of water.”
And … “Apply the product only as specified by label directions.” …
Flight charts released by the Department of Conservation reveal that 1080 poison was dropped directly into most streams and catchments, including to eight of the nine known water abstraction points. Poisoned carcasses have been left to rot in the streams, and animal welfare concerns have been raised. The Department of Conservation Mt Pirongia aerial drop, breached or ignored all of these warnings …
More miracles here from DOC. The poison 1080 was created as an insecticide, however DOC claims it isn’t killing insects. Now that is interesting. Listen to what the science said and how DOC got around that. And see how very uninterested they are in the long term monitoring of the death of invertebrates, an integral part of our ecosystem.
Someone here has summarized the situation on DOC’s science quite excellently I thought in a recent comment on our blog:
“Regardless of what killed the kiwi the whole argument can be boiled down with math…
$3.5b spent on 1080
•DOC can’t point to one species in recovery
•Dead kiwi are from 1080 (then 1080 isn’t working)
•Dead kiwi are from predation (then 1080 isn’t working).
•We are dropping enough every year to kill 22m people yet apparently rodents and possums are still present in huge numbers (then 1080 isn’t working).
I’m sorry but I can’t see any result other than 1080 isn’t working.
Let’s try another 3.5b worth of poison on our lands just to be sure since we are using the fire and hope method rather than scientific evidence based research.
I have more native bird song in my five trees in residential Auckland than there were in the video clip from Clive Graf with a councillor in a bush block controlled with 1080.”
Check out the 1080 pages for further info and links to the GrafBoys’ channel.
More disturbing discoveries on the supposed effectiveness of the pest eradication programs our once clean green paradise has to offer … from the GrafBoys.
“Mt Bruce’s Pukaha claims great success in the recovery of re-introduced bird species like kiwi – but the dark truth is, that kiwi are dying in large numbers, and the decline is directly pointing to pesticides like the aerially spread 1080 poison, or their failure to kill targeted species.”
Pukaha – Mt Bruce is a 942 hectare, un-fenced wildlife project situated in the Wairarapa Region of the North Island of New Zealand.
It claims great success in the recovery of re-introduced bird species like kiwi – but the dark truth is, that kiwi are dying in large numbers, and the decline is directly pointing to pesticides like the aerially spread 1080 poison, or their failure to kill targeted species.
This clip investigates the claims and catastrophes that are Mt Bruce …
Helicopters used to save human lives are hired to poison deer in the Mt Aspiring National Park.
It’s the peak of the tourism season, and the Department of Conservation aerially spread 1080 poison bait across 38,000 hectares of the waterways the visiting trampers are drinking from. Hear what they have to say … [WATCH VIDEO]
Thank you to the Graf brothers for another excellent record of what is happening with this poison in our once clean green land.
The disturbing thing about this use of the rescue helicopters is, how well cleaned are they before carrying people? I have read from other bloggers of an incident where a plane was left on a grass runway overnight before being cleaned & sheep grazing around it overnight died. Okay this is only anecdotal evidence however enough to ring the warning bells. This surely cannot be a 100% safe practice carrying both deadly poison AND sick people.
In the case of Otago there was controversy in October last year (2016) when concerns about this use of rescue helicopters were raised.
Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust manager Ken Franklin said “the trust had two dedicated rescue helicopters which were used only for rescue missions.
Two back-up helicopters owned by Helicopter Otago, which the trust used when its main two were busy, were being used to drop 1080. “SOURCE This was also amidst allegations of alleged threats from 1080 protesters.
On that note, it’s reiterated here, we don’t in any way endorse violence or violent protest. But we do believe that people have a right to the truth. With correct information informed choices can be made. And bear in mind regarding allegations of threats of violence, corporations think nothing of lying as experts explain in the the excellent exposé of corporate behaviour ‘The Corporation’ movie (viewable HERE). Watch it and educate yourself.
Visit our 1080 pages at the main menu for further information on 1080, see especially the sub page for a long and comprehensive list of links and resources. Use ‘Categories’ to find articles on the topic.
1080 POISON LIKE BEING ELECTROCUTED FOR TWO PLUS DAYS, SAYS VET
A vet who is prepared to speak out is Dr Howard Ralph BVSc (Hons). MBBS (Hons), MVS (Wildlife Medicine), JCCA Accred (Anaesthesia), Dip TESL, A/D Fine Arts, Cert Ed NSW, Clinical Forensic M O, Manly Sydney, NSW, Australia
He says “1080 poison – it is like being electrocuted for 2 plus days”.
The SAFE NZ ( Save Animals From Exploitation ) website says :
“Cruel effects of 1080
Death from 1080 is cruel and protracted. Animals receiving a lethal dose of 1080 show severe signs of poisoning, with death resulting from heart or respiratory failure. Clinical signs of poisoning include rapid and laboured breathing, tremors and muscle spasms, terminal convulsions and death. It usually takes possums between 6-18 hours to die.
A witness to a possum poisoning commented, ( and you have to ask yourself what kind of scientist could actually deliberately poison possums to see what 1080 poison did, then witness this and not want to put the poor creature out of its misery !! ) :
“From about four hours after poisoning until death all lethally dosed possums exhibited spasms involving the limbs or body. Possums vocalised during spasms, tremors or seizures. Vocalisation was loud and prolonged. (Squeaking, gasping and gagging noises were also frequently heard during retching and terminal breathing.) Seizures included stiffening of limbs with hunching of the shoulders; jerks in limbs, head, abdomen or shoulder; leg paddling; rolling onto the back with a stiffened body; continuous body rolling; trembling; and rigidity of the entire body. Possums were sometimes propelled into the air by these movements…”
1080 is not a humane way to kill any animal. Death is painful, torturous and slow.”
Possums take 6 to 18 hours to die. Pictured is an orphaned possum joey whose mother died just such a death. Of course this baby had to die too. Thousands of these joeys are left to die a lingering death in our forests – cold and hungry and alone. They just can’t all be saved even if they are found.
On the 13th July 2016, together with a few friends, we went to the site of a 50,000 hectare 1080 poison drop in Central North Island, NZ. This is our story. Everything you see is exactly how it was. (The Graf brothers).
A Takaka tramper who thought she was doing a public service by picking up 1080 poison pellets on the Heaphy Track nine days after an aerial drop of the toxin, has been issued with a warning by police and the Department of Conservation for carrying out an illegal activity.
Showing councillors the wet blue-green poison baits in a plastic bag during the public forum of a Tasman District Council meeting in Takaka yesterday, Hera Livingston said she had been “disgusted” to find 60 of the poison baits within the first four hours of walking the track from Brown Hut, in Golden Bay.
Asking the council to call a halt to aerial 1080 poisoning operations in the district, Ms Livingston said: “This is a health and safety issue. I spoke to a couple of French tourists on the track and they had no idea what the stuff was.”
Ms Livingston said she picked up 22 pellets but then stopped when she continued to find more.
She said she had not seen a warning sign at the beginning of the walk, although there were signs further up the track.
Observers at the 1080 drop near Lake Wanaka recently observed many baits on the tracks, with many tourists present that day. Carol Sawyer who was there that day described the following:
By 10.00 am two security officers had cleared the track to the Blue Pools. One had no gloves on, so she just kicked the baits to the side of the track. The other had gloves so he picked them up and tossed them into the undergrowth. It wasn’t much of an effort. One tourist told me he had seen two baits on the track and another showed me film of baits at the side of the track. SOURCE
Another observer said the bright coloured baits would have looked to a three year old, like a lolly scramble. How safe is this people?
Please educate yourself on the truth about 1080. There are links at our 1080 pages at the main menu (under Chemicals). You can find other 1080 articles and posts by using the categories drop down box.
Last week people we know who live in the region picked up a “very gutted” walker (during the uninformed 1080 predrop) who said 5 choppers were dumping pellets on him along the coast line as he took his annual holidays out at the Kahurangi Light House. He has gone home to Wellington vowing not to come back to this area.
Yesterday when they were away from home they were alerted by a neighbour via txt that two 1080 trucks were heading to the Anatori to complete the kill over the Kahurangi National Park.
Our informants visited DOC and got the complete “run around” when questioning the information to the public procedures. One woman said “if they can meet the local newspaper deadline” the alerts to the drop would be listed there. Another said they leave a map in the front window of DOC and they don’t know from day to day when the drops are going to be because they are weather dependent. What? Do tourists have to visit the DOC office in Takaka every day to know if they (including tourists) and their animals can visit the region’s forest and coastal areas!? The Maps on the DOC website are just a general view NOT GIVING DATES. if you go to this link you will see that the date on this is 2016. We are now in 2017 and they are still using the same map! http://www.doc.govt.nz/pagefiles/163574/kahurangi-map-battle-for-ou…
No one in the Takaka DOC office seemed to know if there had been a notification our informants told us. They eventually found one in the local rag but were stunned at the apparent compartmentalization/ ignorance of the staff. The notification in the local paper DOES NOT HAVE DATES they said. After speaking to Manager Steven (no last name given) they were informed it was up to the people to check with DOC before walking any of their tracks! EXCUSE ME? You are laying poison that any child or dog could pick up and you don’t have to notify of dates? Just a general notification is acceptable?
People, this is very serious. You can see how our basic rights now have a clause added to them. Your government is poisoning willy nilly and this is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to find out if it is safe to move through our forests.
May I ask if the innumerable tourists who visit NZ are informed of this poison program and if it is now THEIR OWN RESPONSIBILITY to get information from a DOC Office (they have undoubtedly never heard of)? Going by Carol Sawyer’s recent article, most of them are totally oblivious to the 1080 drops and had no idea what was going on with SEVEN helicopters overhead.
This is appalling management of NZ’s taxpayers’ rights and resources. The Government MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE for putting citizens’ and tourists’ lives in danger. Tourism NZ should be alerting EVERY incoming visitor about these ‘clean green’ poison programs at the very least. The tourists that our informants have spoken to over these last months are absolutely horrified to hear of this program after walking our supposedly safe tracks. Many of them have vowed to go home to alert their traveling friends they said, to avoid New Zealand and under the circumstances, so they should. If our Government is not going to be forthcoming as to the nature of this program, then is it really up to the accommodation places, hosts of visitors and the locals to share this information?
The following are the ONLY ALERTS and please note the generalizations and even lack of dates on the newspaper notification.
This is apparently the only legally required notification of the drops in the window of DOC TAKAKA
…and this is the generalization that actually made the deadline of the Golden Bay Weekly – note the notification was 2016 and this still applies?
Acceptable? Wake up out of the haze and see what is being done folks.
See also our 1080 pagesfor info & search ‘categories’ for further related articles.
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We did a great job of poisoning the tourists yesterday. The NZ Department of Conservation and HeliOtago are to be commended! ( Don’t get upset – I am being ironic)
At Makarora, Mt Aspiring National Park, an area of unsurpassed beauty on the eastern side of the Southern Alps, yesterday, 23 February, 2017, HeliOtago dropped 76 tonnes of one of the world’s deadliest poisons, Compound 1080, in a DoC “Battle for Our Birds” operation. 1080 has no antidote.
The Blue Pools Walk is a short walk accessed from the main highway, State Highway 6, and is extraordinarily popular with tourists who want a break and a cool bush-walk after driving over the Haast Pass from South Westland. They also often want a swim on a hot day, and I am told tour-bus drivers encourage them to swim and to jump off the bridge at the Blue Pools. Link: https://www.lakewanaka.co.nz/explore/blue-pools-track
The loadout zone at Cameron Flat is seven minutes up the road from the little village of Makarora.
“Yesterday morning the river directly above the Blue Pools was poisoned, along with the rest of the area – Makarora, Wilkin, Young, Blue Valleys, and all the streams that flow into the Makarora River and also end up in Lake Wanaka.”
By 10.00 am two security officers had cleared the track to the Blue Pools. One had no gloves on, so she just kicked the baits to the side of the track. The other had gloves so he picked them up and tossed them into the undergrowth. It wasn’t much of an effort. One tourist told me he had seen two baits on the track and another showed me film of baits at the side of the track.
“1080 is a broad-spectrum poison: it kills all oxygen-breathing animals and organisms. This alone is reason enough to cease dispersing it into the environment. It indiscriminately kills and contaminates everything from the insects that underpin the native fauna food chain to precious native birds, dogs and farm animals.” Dr Meriel Watts
A Makarora local, who was on the track at the time they were dropping the 1080 poison yesterday morning, told me the helicopter that went over his head zig-zagged above the Blue Pools, dropping 1080 poison, and the baits went into the water directly above the Blue Pools. The chopper also went along the edge of the Makarora River, along the bushline, dropping 1080 baits so they were flung out into the Makarora River too. None of the streams had designated buffer zones and so they were poisoned directly, BUT the Wilkin, Young and Makarora Rivers were supposed to have buffer zones. Therefore at least one, the designated bait-free zone around the Makarora River, was poisoned, even if unintentionally.
I spent most of yesterday afternoon at the entrance to the Blue Pools track. So did Shane Wilson and his father Ron. There was a constant stream of tourists. As they went in and as they came out we asked them if they knew about 1080 poison, and when the inevitable “No” was the reply, we handed them an explanatory ( and completely factual, and non-emotive ) flier, and then answered their many questions.
They were stunned – seriously ! There were no signs saying the poison had been dropped that morning. They didn’t understand that it was an aerial drop. They didn’t know what all the helicopters were doing.( There were seven helicopters swinging buckets and it sounded at times like I imagine the Vietnam War must have sounded ). They asked me : Is there a fire ? Are they mining ? Are they building something in the forest ?
One man, in appalled disbelief, came up to me and asked if he could show me film he had taken of a helicopter ” so close to people !” He had a young child on his shoulders. The helicopter was a speck on a ridge and THAT shocked him ? Those choppers had been swinging out so much closer to people than he had witnessed !
One young Swedish man was extremely distressed. He had swum in the water and was very upset when he found out about the poison. I said “Look you will be fine. You swam in it. You didn’t drink it”. Then he said he had been drinking it !
So had his girlfriend – from the Czech Republic.
I spoke to Indians, Brazilians, French, Germans, Scandinavians, Czechs, Danes, Dutch, most of whom understood English, or at least one of their number did and translated for the others, English, Americans, Australians, Canadians. ( Not, however, the Chinese. Malaysians, etc – I tried to talk to them but most didn’t speak English and went away as happily oblivious to poison as when they arrived !)
It was quite a business explaining why the government was dropping 1080 poison and why it was totally unnecessary but – when you tell people we drop 90% of the world’s supply and that it is killing EVERYTHING, not just the species they want to eradicate, and that stoats are not interested in 1080 baits ( when speaking to tourists ‘weasel’ seems to be an understood word, but ‘stoats’ not – so if you say ‘an animal like a weasel’, they mostly understand ), and that it is banned in many parts of the world, and that it is poisoning our land and we can no longer eat our wild food and that we have been dropping it for over 60 years and that we have had rats for 700 years and stoats for 150 and, and, and…..
Shane Wilson‘s ‘1080 drum’ with a roadkill possum doe that he came across en route, on top – beautiful fur, freshly killed, and undamaged – a drawcard for curious tourists. I couldn’t stop stroking her. She was all warm in the sun. She had a lucky escape ! She wouldn’t have known a thing, not like the poor possies dying in Makarora in agony right now ! Photo: Carol Sawyer
Shane Wilson’s Dad, Ron ( they had driven four hours from Otautau to be there, setting off at 1.30 am ), and Ray Thompson, ( who had driven for three hours from from Whataroa ). Some anti-1080 people show total passion and dedication. Photo: Carol Sawyer
What surprised me was the intense interest. I was watchful for glazed-over eyes and polite departures but no… the questions poured in and so many people said ” What can we do to help ?!!” An Englishman, who sounded a bit like Prince Charles, was looking at the loadout zone and he said to me ” I hate this sort of thing ! ”
When I was asked how they could help, I said to people: “Take photos of those helicopters. Explain to your friends on social media. Write letters to major NZ newspapers, stating your shock and upset and disbelief at seeing what is happening in a land you regarded as clean and green and 100% pure. Don’t write to the NZ government – the letter will end up in the bin. A letter to a newspaper, from an international visitor”, I said, “is worth more than 100 letters from New Zealanders”
So many said ” But we thought you were clean, green… “
I told them about the film “Poisoning Paradise”. I told them to look it up on Google. I said it had won four international film festival awards and it has not been allowed to be shown on National TV in NZ.
I told them to go to the websites and Facebook pages on the flier I gave them.
I know some of them will – they were truly SHOCKED !
What is the matter with you, Maggie Barry and the Dept of Conservation? How dare you drop 1080 poison in our rivers and not tell tourists NOT to drink the water – only one hour later !!!!!!! NO signs, NO staff, NO care !
“Animal Control Products” ( recently given the more obscure name “Orillion” ), the NZ state-owned factory, has a 1080 warning label which states ” Avoid pollution of any water supply with pellets” and states that the pellets are harmful to aquatic organisms.