Category Archives: DOC

In 2013 DoC’s helicopter tours and catered lunches failed to quell Māori opposition to aerial 1080 so they dropped it anyway … will this happen to Iwi that protect the Raukumara Reserve?

I was sent recently a NZ Herald article about NZ’s Dept of Conservation (DoC) teaming up with Ngāti Porou to protect the Raukumara Forest Park:

“Iwi including Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Te Ehutu, Ngāi Tai, Whakatōhea and Te Aitanga-ā-Mahaki, and affiliated hapū, have occupied and continued to maintain mana whenua on all flanks of the ranges.

DoC, which administers the park, was working on a co-ordinated approach regarding its management.

The last large-scale possum control operation was 20 years ago involving aerial application of 1080 pesticide. The region was free of tuberculosis (TB), which was partly why there had been little 1080 focus. There had also been strong local opposition.”

On reading the article I was reminded of Reihana Robinson’s well researched book on 1080 use in NZ called  ‘The Killing Nation’. In brief she describes what she terms DoC’s  ‘take a Māori into the bush’ strategy outlined in a Landcare Research paper by Chrys Horn & Margaret Kilvington titled ‘Maori and 1080’.  The paper investigates how to gain iwi ‘agreement’ to use 1080. It’s about ‘building trust’ they write as ‘research is, by itself, not sufficient to allay community & iwi concerns.’

They are clearly aware and acknowledge that ‘Iwi concerns are substantial’ citing ‘loss of native birds, poisoning of deer and dogs, the potential effect on water supplies and human health, and how poison disturbs spiritual principles.’

The authors, says Robinson, “focus on mind control. They don’t call it mind control. They use the term ‘perceived control’ and it is this underlying psychological construct that must be communicated to  ‘help’ Maori communities adapt to change and adversity”. How to get agreement on the use of 1080? … don’t focus on the merits of 1080, convince them of the “merits of pest control or eradicating Tb”.

Robinson describes Horn & Kilvington’s ‘paternalistic clanger’ …  “that ‘it is the element of choice that is important rather than the quality of the options’.”  They proceed to cite examples where local iwi agreed to 1080 without public outcry … ie ‘how to sell poison to Maori communities’.

Horn & Kilvington then stoop to the ultimate tactic of LYING by claiming there IS an antidote to 1080 poisoning. Patently untrue says Robinson. 

Yes we environmentalists know that there is no antidote to 1080. That’s not rocket science at all.

See page 10 of this government document from the MOH (2015) stating there is no antidote to 1080.

“At a time when communities are increasingly negative about the use of 1080, time and resources must be allowed for consultation processes” say Horn & Kilvington. They are concerned that DoC staff do not “recognise the difference between information and consultation”.

(Note, environmentalists who have attended these consultation meetings will concur that the people with genuine concerns are not heard and the meetings are steered by the person at the front to effectively exclude them & to achieve a predetermined desired outcome. This manipulative method is called the Delphi technique, a method used also by councils when they ‘consult’ with you, see below the article).*

Proceeding to the main point here … Robinson describes “the critical role of Urewera Maori within DoC disclosed in the Landcare paper”… “DoC tried to give ‘all the community groups involved a high level of perceived  control over the possibility of aerial drops in the area’.

So DoC transported Maori into the Uruwera bush to show “damage caused by possums” and their effect on “birdlife”. DoC’s ‘take a Maori into the bush’ strategy did not work on Moehau in 2013.’ The lunches and the helicopter tours failed as described …

…then DoC went ahead & dropped the poison anyway. 

Are you getting the gist now of DoC’s ‘consultation’ and what it really means?

I am going to add a pdf file here of this particular chapter of Robinson’s book so you can read it for yourself. (She did give me permission to quote and to reproduce the chapter for your perusal).  Perhaps you may be interested to purchase her book to read the entire scope of concern environmentalists both Maori & Pakeha alike have about the use of this Class 1A Ecotoxin in NZ’s environment. And about how DoC ‘get around’ Māori opposition and the need to consult.

Here is a link to the pdf of the chapter by Reihana Robinson:

Reihana Robinson Maori and Business as Usual

Here is a link to the Herald article:

DoC teaming up with Ngāti Porou to save ‘dying’ Raukumara Forest Park

 


* How to politely disrupt the Delphi technique.

LG’s definition of consultation
“Consultation is a formal statutory process that occurs in response to a decision that has been taken (even if that decision is a draft decision).”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kea likely killed by 1080 – DoC

From the Otago Daily Times

A Massey University post mortem has found six kea in the Matukituki Valley of the Aspiring National Park ”are likely” to have died from 1080 toxin.

The birds were among the 12 kea monitored by the Kea Conservation Trust after the Department of Conservation’s aerial 1080 predator control operation on February 11.

DOC threats director Amber Bill said in a statement today it was ”regretful” to lose any kea to 1080.

”But overall, aerial predator control is proven to benefit kea populations.

”It’s upsetting and disappointing to lose six kea but we are confident with effective control of rats and stoats we will significantly boost nesting success and the number of young birds entering the population.

”We are concerned the tracked kea may have learnt to eat human food around the tramping huts, making them more likely to try 1080 cereal bait.

”DOC’s extensive research of kea through aerial 1080 operations show the risk of 1080 to kea in remote areas is very low but increases markedly with birds that have learnt to scrounge for human food.”

Ms Bill said the Matukituki operation followed DOC’s best practice to mitigate risks to kea from 1080 and ensure they benefited from stoat control after last year’s extreme forest mast or seeding.

”We are constantly working to improve our risk mitigation standards for kea, which are informed by our ongoing research programme.

”In light of this incident, we will be investing more to explore potential additional measures that DOC can take to reduce the risk to kea in future 1080 predator control operations.”

Ms Bill said DOC was considering a campaign to discourage people from feeding kea and prevent kea from learning to scrounge.

“Kea are super smart and present unique conservation challenges.

”We need to continue to learn and assess all options to protect this national taonga from predators and other threats.”

Recent rodent monitoring results from the Matukituki showed rats had been reduced from damaging levels – present in 47% of tracking tunnels – to being undetectable – 0% of tracking tunnels -, following the 1080 operation.

Stoat monitoring was underway.

The Matukituki programme was designed to protect rock wren, kea and whio, as well as kākāriki, kākā, and South Island robin following a beech mast-fueled rat and stoat plague.

Ms Bill said DOC was monitoring whio and rock wren to track how these species were doing.

The dead birds were three adult males, one adult female, one juvenile male and one juvenile female.

SOURCE

https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/wanaka/kea-likely-killed-1080-doc?fbclid=IwAR22SOHfIvTohLfC_Dg_L5AFdd9tiBy2ZS66dgCdO5I5TOH8pnUTjh9odOY

Conservationists in NZ sounding the alarm over drop in the numbers of the famously inquisitive kea bird

DoC of course are blaming the feeding of kea, do read the information from Dr Jo Pollardto put that one to rest. EWR

from the Otago Daily Times

There are thought to be between 1,000 and 5,000 of the alpine parrots left in New Zealand, and the Kea Conservation Trust says it’s seen a fall in the population in the South Island’s Hawdon Valley in recent years. “When you go up into the mountains, the numbers are really concerning,” volunteer Mark Brabyn tells Stuff.co.nz. “We don’t want to wait until there is only a couple of hundred left to do something.”

Kea are known for their trusting nature around humans, often approaching passers by and happily gobbling up junk food. But that’s part of the problem. Gorging on ice cream and chips left over by hikers – or sometimes fed directly to the birds – can end up killing them. Stoats are another major threat, destroying all six kea nests in the area last year with no chicks surviving, Mr Brabyn says.

The government has previously admitted that the controversial poison 1080, which is dropped from the air to kill predators, is also responsible for killing some kea. Studies are being carried out to determine whether the poison is an overall help or hindrance to the birds.

The Kea Conservation Trust is now trying to crowdfund a mobile app to track kea with the public’s help. Anyone who encounters a tagged bird would be able to input its tag number to learn more about that individual, log its location, condition and behaviour, and even upload photos. “It would give us such valuable information about numbers and how far they were travelling, and would raise awareness about the bird. People would be connecting and caring,” Mr Brabyn says.

As far as predators go, New Zealand’s government wants to rid the whole country of stoats, rats and possums by 2050, saying these non-native animals kill 25 million native birds each year. But the kea’s inquisitive nature can make even well-meaning pest control efforts difficult.

In February, seven of the birds died after breaking into stoat traps to get at the egg and meat bait inside, prompting the Department of Conservation to modify 700 traps to make them kea-proof. Current research into traps involves stoat anal glands, which presumably won’t attract curious birds.

SOURCE

https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/wanaka/kea-likely-killed-1080-doc?fbclid=IwAR22SOHfIvTohLfC_Dg_L5AFdd9tiBy2ZS66dgCdO5I5TOH8pnUTjh9odOY

 

Image by cernazu1 from Pixabay

DoC’s own census on Kea numbers reveals a decline from 60,000 in the 1970s, to an estimated 1 to 4,000 now … an open letter to Amanda Gillies

AN OPEN LETTER TO AMANDA GILLIES by Jeff Patchett

(posted by Carol Sawyer)

“Our little piece of paradise was ruined for ever”

Introduction: On yesterday’s ‘AM Show’, the usual garbage about people opposed to 1080 was spouted by Duncan Garner and Mark Richardson. (Go to ‘The AM Show Catch-Up’, 9 March, 2020 – and fast forward to 2 hours, 25 minutes.) According to them, anti-1080 people are a ‘loud, ignorant, uneducated group” of “extremists”. Amanda Gillies said there may be some issues with 1080 but she didn’t think it was “the devil incarnate”. However Amanda was not strident and fixed in her views than the other two, so Jeff Patchett of Brightwater, Nelson wrote her a letter. Here it is:

“Dear Amanda,

I am writing to you specifically because I respect you and your values. You have a compassionate heart.

I have always been a fan of The A.M. Show until Duncan Garner suggested Willie Apiata take some of the anti-1080 people into the bush and deal with them. I was absolutely appalled at these comments. My family here in Blenheim lost five men in the First World War (1914 Blenheim population approx. 2000). My Dad and uncle both served in WW2. Dad had an especially torrid time, as he fought at Monte Casino, one of the War’s most horrific battles. For Garner to say that he wished Willie would use some of his special skill set on fellow Kiwis makes a croc of shit out of the family fighting and dying for the Freedom of Speech. Is that not hate speech?

Anyway I didn’t watch you guys again until recently and nothing’s changed. The A.M. Show had a young speaker.. a man from “Forest and Bird” welcoming the government’s new initiative on Predator Free 2050. He is in a paid job and is only spouting his puppet masters’ views. How long would anyone in Forest and Bird, OSPRI, or DoC last if they had the balls to speak the truth on 1080 ? ‘Forest and Bird’ wrote to the Dept of Conservation in the mid-seventies, telling DoC they were not happy with the number of native birds 1080 was killing each year. Something changed their minds and they are now fully behind its use.

Garner mentioned (former Parliamentary Commissoner for the Environment) Jan Wright and her change of heart with 1080. (Please look up 1080science.co.nz and read for yourself how much the old girl got wrong).

I was 100% for 1080 in 1998 when the ‘powers that be’ came knocking to say we needed 1080 to kill the possums that infected my large cattle herd with bovine TB. (Australia has possums, they are protected natives and they have never been linked to TB. Incidentally bovine TB has been eradicated in Australia since 2002.)

Like most people in 1998, we knew nothing of 1080 and if it got rid of TB we would welcome it. I even suggested they could land the choppers on our lawn if it helped. Well, they completed the drop and buggered off and left us to it. A few days passed and my neighbour told us that he had just found our pet Wekas in the house water supply. I spent the next three weeks dragging dead pigs, deer, and a large assortment of birds from the creek, and its many tributaries, that was our drinking water. I was the only one in our family to get a guts ache from the water.

About a month went by and the full impact of the drop hit us. The bush that normally teemed with birds was quiet. We have never seen a single Tomtit or heard a Ruru, even to this day. Our little piece of paradise was ruined for ever.

Things got worse though. After Christmas dinner we walked to the top of our mountain (Mt.Patriarch) and waited for the Kea to show up. Even their high-pitched screams would have been enough, but not even that happened. My son and I visited the tops several more times and again no Kea. They were gone. Generations of people had witnessed these cheeky birds and DoC had killed the lot – all 23 of them gone.

I then followed up on other Kea colonies that I knew of. They all seemed to disappear after 1080 drops. Mt Robert, the Rainbow, and Ferny Gair all had Kea until 1080 was used. I believe there are now no Kea in Marlborough. These declines in Kea numbers are reflected in DoC’s own census – sixty thousand in the 1970’s, to between one thousand and four thousand now. I personally believe the number to be less than a thousand ( 600?). Rats, stoats, and possums were about in the 1970’s in as big a number as today. The Kea’s habitat has not changed at all, and even redneck Mark Richardson and Duncan Garner would have to agree that DoC’s ‘lead head nail’ story is absolute bullshit. DoC have, with the help of OSPRI, put our alpine clown bird on the endangered list. They will make them extinct in the wild the way they are going.

Contrary to what redneck Mark said about anti-1080 people being a fringe element there are 300,000 people on ‘Ban 1080’ sites. We are bigger than “Forest and Bird”. We are made up of all sorts of folk. We have scientists (two in my family alone), builders, lawyers, doctors, teachers, anyone who can think for themselves and anyone who takes the time to look into the 1080 issue with an open mind. Also there are thousands who, like me, have witnessed the horror of 1080 for themselves. In 2018 a poll of newspaper readers in Blenheim was taken by the Marlborough Express on the banning of 1080. Almost four thousand people responded – 85% against 1080. On the West Coast of the South Island a survey found that figure to be a massive 93% against 1080. Even DoC’s own poll in 2016 had the anti-1080’s at over 60%.

Most anti-1080 people have more then one reason why 1080 should go. Here are mine:

1) It is extremely cruel. I have lost six dogs to it and have witnessed one dog die from it. Not very pleasant.

2) It has entered our food chain. Wild game and some fish with sub-lethal doses. Also what about the cattle and sheep that have eaten it and not died from it ?

3) Tourists are responding negatively to the signage. Trout fishermen are no longer coming.

4) The users of 1080 are not following the guidelines – i.e. keep out of water, bury dead animals, pick up unused bait.

5) It’s killing non-target animals. A survey of 10% of NZ vets in one year put the tally of 1080-poisoned dogs brought to them at 65. (Former PCE Jan Wright knew of only 7 poisoned dogs. There were 18 poisoned dogs in our 1080 drop alone.)

6) It is a teratogen – i.e.causes abnormalities to the unborn. DoC are finding this in baby Kea and other birds.

7) 1080 has ruined a very valuable export market. The wild game and fur industries were huge in the 1970’s – 80’s. Probably worth half a billion in today’s money.

8) Takes natural food away from people who can’t afford to pay for meat. This has a huge impact on families in the far north and on the West Coast.

9) Clean and Green NZ. Yeah right. “Forest and Bird’ and DoC always say “Look at the science”. Their own scientist in the 1960’s told them it would be a disaster to use 1080 ( Dr. Mike Mead). His scientist peers agreed, but it still happened.

Most of DoC’s ‘science’ can be picked to bits with not much trouble. There are dozens of far cleverer people than the underpaid DoC scientists, and if TV3 gave them a chance to speak ,on nationwide TV, 1080 would be gone tomorrow.

All I wish, Amanda, is that you look into 1080 with an open mind. Mark has self-promotion and the National Party on his, so I would never expect any change in his attitude. Duncan Garner acts out of ignorance and I bet he has never for one moment thought an opposing view on 1080. Maori believe the Morepork (Ruru) takes their soul to heaven. Duncan won’t get there because that particular bird will be dead (extinct) long before he is.

Kind regards,

Jeff Patchett
Brightwater
Nelson”

 

Photos below – Mt Patriarch from Jeff Patchett’s farm – Photo Jeff Patchett; Tomtit (male) Pixabay; Kea feeding chick, Fiordland 1920, DoC files.

 

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RELATED: DOC’s dubious ‘success’ rate with 1080 – $3.5 billion, a decade later and not a single endangered bird species in recovery 

Header Image by Ildigo from Pixabay

Six kea, half of a Conservation Trust study, have died following an aerial 1080 drop in Otago

Further update on this as at March 3rd: Probably more than 6 kea have died

The said kea will be undergoing post mortems.  We wait with baited breath for the outcome, and can likely be sure that they, like the Sth Is North Beach rats, weren’t poisoned by 1080 it being mere coincidence their demise (like the North Beach rats & other various items of marine life) just happened to follow an aerial drop of the deadly Class 1A Ecotoxin. After all 1080 is ‘not very harmful to humans’ even NZ children are taught at school, and let’s remember it only targets pests like stoats, rats and possums. Well, so we are told. And in this case well they say it could be the public’s fault for feeding them in the first place. Doesn’t make sense that does it? If only pests are targeted, then it’s not working.  They can’t have it both ways. EWR

From Stuff

Kea part of Conservation Trust study group found dead near Wānaka

‘Six kea have died following an aerial 1080 predator control operation in Otago.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause of the deaths in the Matukituki Valley near Wānaka.

The birds were among 12 kea being monitored by the Kea Conservation Trust for a study on the impact of predators.

The remaining six birds have been confirmed alive since the DOC operation on February 11.

Trust chairwoman Tamsin Orr-Walker said the team was devastated.

There was always a risk during a 1080 drop that birds would pick up the bait, but she was not aware of any previous incidents where such a large number were affected.


RELATED: A whole flock numbering hundreds of Kea wiped out in one 1080 drop – a farmer speaks out


DOC threats director Amber Bill said there was a concern the tracked kea may have been exposed to human food around the tramping huts in the valley, potentially making them more vulnerable to picking up 1080 cereal baits.

“While we are confident that predator control operations benefit kea populations at large, it’s upsetting to lose six birds.”

The 1080 drop followed the biggest forest mast in 40 years, which fuelled rodent plagues and created a spike in stoat numbers that posed a serious threat to ground-nesting kea and other native wildlife, she said.

Previous research found kea had increased survival and nesting success when 1080 was used to control rats and stoats.

While the risk of 1080 to kea in remote areas was low, it increased with birds that had leaned to scavenge for human food.


RELATED: A NZ Landcare scientist estimates the likely death toll from an Otago 1080 drop in 2002 to be around 10,000 birds


“Our work to mitigate the risk to kea from 1080 is based on extensive research and the results of 222 monitored kea through 19 aerial 1080 operations at 12 South Island sites,” Bill said.

DOC was looking to launch a campaign discouraging people from feeding kea and interaction that could lead to scrounging behaviour.

Results of the autopsy and toxicology testing on the dead birds are expected later this week.

Orr-Walker asked that people in the area report any kea sightings over the next few months on the kea database website, especially kea that have leg bands.

This would enable the trust to confirm status of their project birds.

SEE SOURCE FOR VIDEOS


RELATED:

KEA DEATHS IN NZ


 

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

 

1080: UNSAFE PRACTICES OBSERVED at THE MATUKITUKI AERIAL 1080 POISON DROP!

By Carol Sawyer

On 11th and 12th February, 2020, 1080 poison was dropped by helicopter in the Matukituki Valley, Mt Aspiring National Park. The loading zone was on Mt Aspiring Station, in a paddock beside a public road. Three helicopters belonging to Way to Go Heliservices Ltd, and two JJ Nolan Transport Ltd trucks were there, as well as support staff and security.

 

on grass

1) Spillage…..in photos here you can see baits have been dropped on the grass (grass later to be eaten by stock, no doubt) and two workers are picking them up and tossing them into an already overloaded hopper.

bare legs

2) Crazy behaviour by helicopter company…..the helicopter pilot in ZK-HKW has bare legs and face and hands!!! What part of ‘deadly Class 1A ecotoxin’ do these guys not understand? Do they think skull-and-crossbones signs are just for pirate ships?

6. 1080 sheep

3) The food chain….. a mob of sheep are driven past the drop as it is happening, along the road beside the loading zone, film crew in attendance. I wonder if they filmed the poison operation!

4) “Baits might sting when they hit you” ….tourists and trampers who had called into the DoC office prior to coming up the valley were surprised to see a 1080 operation underway. They reported that DoC Wanaka had not informed them that would be happening. I was told that, when asked about this, a DoC staffer at the drop said it was OK to be inside a 1080 drop but the baits might hurt a bit if they hit them.

This has been the standard DoC Wanaka stance since the 2014 operation it seems. Tourists visiting the DoC Wanaka office on the day before the December 2, 2014 aerial 1080 drop on the Matukituki catchment reported to me that they were told they could go into the drop zone on the day of the 1080 drop but that “the baits weigh as much as a $2 coin” and might sting if they hit them. DoC Wanaka even stated this in an article in the Otago Daily Times in 2014! https://www.odt.co.nz/…/1080-poison-drop-matukituki-valleys…

18. 1080 regional map

5) No proper signage….there were NO poison warning signs up on the day of the drop… only the map of the drop zone and a sign explaining DoC’s ‘Battle for Our Birds’ programme.

6) Hiding ID…..At least one of the security guards present had covered his ID number with tape so it couldn’t be seen…. more on that later in a separate post.

All photos by Joel Lund

PS: Please note this is not the area where female tramper, Stephanie Simpson, sadly lost her life recently… as some are speculating. My thoughts are with her UK family. It has been so sad to think of their receiving that first phone call that their daughter was missing, and now the worst news of all.

SOURCE

 

FURTHER UPDATE TO THE ABOVE ARTICLE:

DoC WANAKA STILL HAVE SAME CARELESS ATTITUDE TO 1080 POISON THAT THEY DID IN 2014!! MATUKITUKI VALLEY, MT ASPIRING NATIONAL PARK

“While the toxic pellets are targeting rats, stoats and possums, they each weigh the same as a $2 coin and a department spokeswoman advised park concessionaires yesterday they presented a danger to people on the ground.

”Therefore, for safety reasons, it is strongly recommended that people avoid entering the pest control area while the helicopter operation is taking place,” she said.” Otago Daily Times, 24 November, 2014

See 2014 article here : https://www.odt.co.nz/…/1080-poison-drop-matukituki-valleys…

The baits might hurt if they hit you ?! Note the ODT article doesn’t say who “SHE” is, but one can presume it is DoC Wanaka spokesperson at the time, Annette Grieve.

This article was indeed verified when tourists reported to me, in the days prior to the aerial 1080 toxic bait drop on December 2, 2014, that they had called into the local DoC office and were told they could go into the drop zone on the day of the 1080 drop but that “the baits weigh as much as a $2 coin and might hurt if they hit you”.

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MATUKITUKI VALLEY AERIAL 1080 DROP, (11th and 12th February, 2020)

The story is still the same. Again, in last week’s 1080 drop of 11th and 12th February, 2020, tourists reported that they had called into the DoC Wanaka office before coming into the Matukituki Valley and were not told a 1080 poison drop was happening. Joel Lund asked a DoC staffer at the loading zone about it, and he repeated DoC Wanaka’s party line…. that the baits might sting if they hit you.

No poison warning signage was in place. Is this a policy of the Wanaka area ? The same thing happened at last year’s OSPRI 1080 poison drop at Luggate… no 1080 poison warning signage!

1080 op

 

Photo: Alpine Helicopters Ltd of Wanaka at aerial 1080 poison operation, Matukituki Valley, Mt Aspiring National Park, 2014

Cows & Endangered Birds Poisoned in Taranaki Aerial Drop

Thanks to the Graf brothers for this video. It is fact not fiction note. For all those who deny the by kill and particularly the endangered birds. Go figure. Scatter a Class 1A Ecotoxin around like lollies and what do you expect? It kills everything that breathes & cannot target specific pests as we’re told. See Dr Meriel Watts‘ info on that.  EWR

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Farm manager discovered poisoned cows following the second aerial poisoning operation within 6 months …

RATGATE & what DoC hopes you’ve forgotten: Nearly 1,000 highly toxic carcasses are still buried, unmarked, a few feet down on a Westport beach

WE CALLED IT ‘RATGATE’ – DoC CALLED IT ‘OPERATION TIDY RAT’

By Carol Sawyer

In case anyone missed this timeline originally, here it is again, updated, with some important new edits and additions. These include DoC’s reaction on 9 November, (now known via OIA request), and also information on the independent testing laboratory that was employed by Clean Green NZ Trust to test carcasses from the North Beach, Westport area.

I regard this incident and its aftermath as one of the more important stories of 2019. We won’t be forgetting this one, much as the Dept of Conservation would like us to.

TIMELINE :

1 – 3 November, 2019 – The Dept of Conservation aerially drops 104 tonnes of 1080 poison baits into the Maruia River catchment, South Island, to kill rats. This catchment feeds into the Buller River which eventually flows out to sea at Westport, 140 kms downstream.

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8 November — A Westport local spots numerous dead creatures (rats, birds, marine life and a goat) on North Beach, Westport, at the mouth of the Buller River, after heavy rain.

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9 November – Locals collect a trailer-load of 680 dead rats, a goat, octopods, skates, sole, starfish, crabs, barracuda, monkfish, crayfish ( all bottom feeders which could have eaten 1080 baits washed to sea) and dead seabirds from North Beach and local Trevor Reid goes to the DoC office at 1.30 pm to ask for assistance.

Trevor is then made to wait for an hour in the carpark while, as we later find out via OIA request, DoC’s West Coast Operations Director, Mark Davies, frantically downloads photos of the dead creatures from anti-1080 Facebook pages and starts a flurry of emails to DoC’s Deputy Director General, Mike Slater, Director of National Ops, Hilary Aikman, and the CEO’s of Buller and West Coast Regional Councils, Sharon Mason and Michael Meehan, among others. By 2.50pm Mark Davies has already drafted a media release ! DoC names this cover-up operation “Operation Tidy Rat”.

Two DoC workers eventually come down to North Beach with a digger and dig a two metre deep hole in the sand and bury the potentially toxic load on the beach. Freedom campers move elsewhere.

Buller District Council, on behalf of DoC, announces that the aerial 1080 drop at Springs Junction the previous week (Maruia catchment) “may have contributed to the problem”, and advises caution. As these carcasses could have been victims of both primary and secondary 1080 poisoning, selected carcasses are sent for testing – both by DoC and by an independent group.

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11 November – DoC, now moving into damage control, changes its story. On Prime TV News, West Coast Operations Director Mark Davies says ‘Doc thinks it’s unlikely the rats were poisoned by 1080 in a recent drop, then washed out of the hills by heavy rain. “I just can’t imagine that the two are connected”, he said.’

To Newshub, Davies said “… reports of dead fish and birds – along with the rats – are not consistent with the way 1080 is understood to work.” ( This statement is illogical considering 1080 poison is indiscriminate.)

However ‘One News’ hadn’t quite caught up with the new fairy story and said “The Department of Conservation (DOC) said they may be victims of a recent 1080 drop 140 kilometres away in the Lewis Pass National Reserve.”

Also on 11 November, more dead rats and dead muttonbirds are discovered on a beach 8 kms north of Westport, seagulls are seen picking dead rats out of the sea at Waimangaroa Beach 17 kms north of Westport, and further reports come in of dead creatures found at Punakaiki and elsewhere..

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12 November – “DOC’s West Coast regional director of operations Mark Davies said the 1080 theory was however just that – a theory – and highly unlikely.” TVNZ News

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13 November – DoC’s Buller Operations Manager, Bob Dickson, clutching at straws now, announces a brand new DoC theory – The rats were committing suicide. They had run out of food and were all jumping into the rivers and rafting, dead, down to the beaches.

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15 November – Announcement by two non-profit environmental groups, Flora and Fauna Aotearoa and Clean Green New Zealand that the first independent laboratory test results have been returned. Laboratory scientists tested samples taken from 5 rats, 1 Weka, 2 Sooty shearwaters, 1 starfish and 6 mussels. The samples from 4 of the 5 rats tested positive for three chemical markers of 1080 poison, including the toxic chemical, fluorocitrate. This was also the case for the birds. The starfish and weka also tested positive for fluorocitrate. There were no traces of 1080 detected in the mussels.

Very significantly, three of the rats and the two Sooty shearwaters also tested positive for the presence of green dye acid 9, which is only used in the bait pellets and is not a naturally occurring substance at detectable limits.
There were physical signs of poisoning in some of the animals as well.
The laboratory scientists’ professional conclusion is that the deaths of the beach animals tested were almost certainly caused by 1080 poison.
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20 November – The Dept of Conservation finally announced the results of ITS testing of samples taken from North Beach, Westport. They said that Landcare Research had tested eight dead rats and one Weka, none of which had any residue of 1080 toxin. Landcare did not test for anything other than fluoroacetate. They said “We were not asked ( by DoC) to test for other chemicals.” Fluoroacetate metabolises into fluorocitrate after being ingested. Landcare should have tested for this substance. In view of this fact, Prof. Ian Shaw, expert toxicologist at the University of Canterbury, said he found this “confusing”. Landcare told a journalist “Fluorocitrate remains in complex with the aconitase enzyme. It is therefore difficult to test for.” Yet the independent laboratory was able to test for fluorocitrate and found it in all animals tested except the mussels.
DoC once more declared that the influx of dead rats on North Beach was a result of their being starving (despite a megamast in the beech forest, and a hundred tonnes of 1080 cereal baits landing on them) and swimming across rivers in desperation in search of food, thereby drowning, and that the dead marine creatures were a result of stormy weather.
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19 December – ‘Independent testing’ scientist named as Dr. Nick Wall and the testing laboratory named as his Ideas Lab, Timaru. Dr. Wall is a highly-qualified UK scientist (BSc Hons, MSc, two PhD’s in surface chemistry, and an MBA). His laboratories worldwide are contracted by many of the world’s largest organisations to solve thorny problems for them, and have a strong and long list of successes. His laboratory budget globally is greater than Landcare’s and DoC’s combined, and he employs more independent scientists than either of them.
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FOOTNOTE:

The Dept of Conservation, hoping that time will erase this business from people’s memories and that ‘Operation Tidy Rat’, as they called it, will have tidied itself away to nothing, have conveniently forgotten that nearly 1,000 highly toxic carcasses are buried a few feet down in an unmarked grave in the sand on North Beach, Westport. We have not!

With regard to Ratgate, these are some of the questions that remain:

  • Why is Landcare using a testing method more than 30 years old?
  • Why was a crayfish collected and not analysed?
  • How long did Massey University hold onto the samples for autopsies (which were inconclusive) before sending the remains to Landcare?
  • Is there a chain of custody for what was tested?
  • Which parts were sent from Massey to Landcare, and which parts did Landcare analyse?
  • Were the samples homogenized to release any bound fluoroacetate?
  • Why did Landcare not release all the results?
MOST IMPORTANTLY, as at 29 December, Dr. Wall has eight highly regarded teams getting up to speed on this topic internationally, as there are still many questions remaining to be answered, and these teams intend to provide answers to a global audience.


Note re burial of carcasses: ” The disposal pit must be clear of waterways (permanent or ephemeral) so as to not cause pollution of water in accordance with Part 5.3 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.”

The independent testing lab named … UK scientist has concerns about inadequate testing for pesticide residues in NZ laboratories

Watch people on this one. The lamestream media is already onto this as was to be expected, with innuendos about the credibility of the scientist. Whore media. Little wonder he originally declined to be named. These people pull out all stops to defend their poisoning program. You need to ask yourself, what would this man have to gain, or the two environmental groups have to gain, concocting false evidence about why the wildlife was poisoned? Nobody makes any money in fact it costs them. DoC have unlimited resources. And the whole industry is a gravy train. I will be writing more on that soon. Tight for time at the moment. EWR

RATGATE – INDEPENDENT TESTING LAB NAMED

“Dr Wall also has serious concerns about the inadequate testing for pesticide residues in NZ Government-funded laboratories and is consulting with international colleagues on the issue

Attached is a press release from non-profit trusts Flora and Fauna, Aotearoa and Clean Green NZ.

“Dr Wall of Ideas Lab, a highly-qualified UK scientist of complex chemical analysis, who conducted the independent tests, runs successful international businesses that draw on high quality skills and cutting edge technologies. He initially wanted to remain anonymous due to receiving threats in the past; however his identity has since been made public. Dr Wall also has serious concerns about the inadequate testing for pesticide residues in NZ Government-funded laboratories and is consulting with international colleagues on the issue.”

See the original press release and test results below:

1 independent testing

2 independent testing (2)

3 independent testing

4 independent testing

5 independent testing

6 independent testing

7 independent testing

8 independent testing

9 independent testing

9.1 independent testing

Horowhenua’s former Mayor speaks on pollution in the region & why little is being done about it

A truthful commentary from Horowhenua’s ex Mayor Michael Feyen on the pollution issues regarding Lake Horowhenua & more importantly why they are not being properly addressed. Not an uncommon story in this era of neo lib economics. Michael is able to share from the unique standpoint of a former insider. Whilst mayor & prior to that a councilor, he was largely censored and silenced from speaking out on these important issues that DCs largely pay lip service to (see other links below). Very brief notes also below but do listen to the full commentary. About 22 minutes in length. EWR

  • HDC, DoC & Horizons have used the divide & rule concept with the guardians of Lake Horowhenua.
  • Sediment traps put in by council without consents.
  • Council cut off Phillip Taueki’s water for 700 days  (Phillip is an owner of the lake who  has lived there 14 years). (See here also). He has also beenvictimized by Police.
  • Court & a Judge’s conflict of interest.
  • Unfinished audit that should have been finalised before ex Mayor Feyen’s departure. No independent audit either. Unheard of for annual plan to not be signed off before elections. No audit at HDC for at least 12 years.
  • No confidence in DoC’s handling of the issue.
  • No confidence in the Lake Horowhenua Lake Domain Board.
  • Incestuous development system in town where ratepayers pay for infrastructure and developers don’t.
  • Hidden reasons as to why the lake is being left the way it is.
  • Similar pollution & other issues going on at the Foxton River Loop.
  • Priority given to the ‘edifices’ rather than the essential issues.
  • Treaty obligations.

RELATED: POLLUTING FOR PERSONAL PROFIT – HOW NZ’S WATERWAYS ARE TRASHED

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T SWIM IN THE MANAWATU, OR ANY NZ RIVER … THE POLLUTION OF OUR WATERWAYS FOR CORPORATE PROFIT

 

ARTICLE CITED:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/117862596/activist-vows-lake-horowhenua-will-stay-closed?fbclid=IwAR325fd2acOkKBowSz_oIbX5CnbJvzjckUdS2L16SDuz0hRbe5HTtc8NpTo