Category Archives: Poison

‘Family face long wait over backpacker’s lost heart’ (2006) & mainstream failed to mention suspected 1080 poisoning

And ‘long’ it has been. What the Herald failed to mention is that her Doctor suspected 1080 poisoning which is why he asked for her heart to be tested. Please read our earlier article on this … the Doctor was in effect stone walled which confirms Dr Baycroft’s information (see below).

Have you ever heard of a lab losing a human heart before?

This is horrible beyond imagination for this family. And it sounds extremely suspicious doesn’t it? This family was paid absolutely no respect in this. Not by the authorities anyway. Remember what retired Doctor Charles Baycroft has told us recently… ‘if you die from 1080 poisoning nobody will know’ because Doctors he said are not allowed to look for it, and they are bullied into not testing. Word has it that the leaves in the area where Whitney walked that day were smeared with 1080 gel, a highly concentrated application. 

The NZ authorities do not practice the precautionary principle with the spreading of 1080 poison people. 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. EWR

RELATED: THE CATCH 22 OF 1080 POISONING IN NZ – AN MD SAYS THERE IS ‘NO EVIDENCE’ OF IT BECAUSE IT IS NOT ALLOWED TO BE LOOKED FOR

COULD THIS HEALTHY 23 YEAR OLD’S CARDIAC ARREST HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY EXPOSURE TO 1080? … WE WILL NEVER KNOW BECAUSE INCREDIBLY, THE NZ LAB LOST HER HEART!

From the NZ Herald in 2006

The family of an American backpacker whose heart went missing after she died suddenly in Queenstown last month face a long wait. 

The Auckland District Health Board is investigating the disappearance of 23-year-old Whitney Robie’s heart from LabPlus, the hospital’s pathology laboratory. 

Miss Robie collapsed while watching TV at Deco Backpackers in Queenstown on May 15 and died shortly afterwards despite efforts to revive her.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10386592&fbclid=IwAR2-U4NwY1jPNBYWEYyxWNKbvoxTpSuRV6JP1cXlrPsMa92acwWtIqXoh0Q

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

By Carol Sawyer

“I USED TO HAVE A HUGE FLOCK OF KEA AROUND MY FARM DOWN THE WEST COAST…

..and when they did a big 1080 drop, maybe 12 or 15 years ago, they completely wiped this flock of several hundred, possibly as many as a thousand, Kea out in one fell swoop. They were all dead within days. The tops around the farm were from that point on, until I sold it and left, were silent.

Also all the bush falcons get wiped out in the bush, harrier hawks, etc…

the destruction that it causes is incredible.

Whenever you do a survey in the bush after a big 1080 drop you will find all sorts of dead birds, including the insect-eating birds.”

 

EWR COMMENT:

NZ’s kea are close to extinction.
RELATED:

WITH A LONG HISTORY OF POISONING KEA, DOC IS SET TO FINISH OFF WHAT REMAINS – DR JO POLLARD

See further articles on topic at this link:
https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/?s=kea

If you are new to the 1080 poisoning program, here is a good article to start with …

WHY ARE PEOPLE SO CONCERNED ABOUT 1080?

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′. 

Finally a note re commenting:

Whilst your comments are welcome, this is a venue for independent info. Please discuss/debate your pro poison thoughts in mainstream where they’re welcomed & independent info is not. You will find the independent science at 1080science.co.nz  Or search other articles in categories at the top, left hand side of the page.

The real story behind NZ’s use of 1080 is “a sinister tale of corruption and bureaucratic indifference” says a British film maker (2002)

From thegrafboys.blogspot

“Poison use a sinister tale” – The Press 2002

The following article appeared in the Christchurch Press in January 2002.
What’s intriguing is how the British team quickly identified indicators of an industry built on poison, and how their story echoes the voice of 1000’s of New Zealanders across the country – even after the ERMA reassessment of 1080 poison in 2007…Poison use ‘a sinister tale’.
Article from: 

The Press
Article date:
January 29, 2002NELSON — A British filmmaker’s criticism of 1080 poison use in New Zealand has alarmed government departments.

Terry Brownbill, making a documentary to be screened in Europe, says the real story behind our use of 1080 is “a sinister tale of corruption and bureaucratic indifference”.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) says his allegations of public lies and alleged corruption are unfounded.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, worried about the documentary’s impact on meat- export markets, says concerns expressed by Brownbill about the possibility of 1080 residue entering food are invalid.

Last May Brownbill led a two- man film crew on a three-week tour of New Zealand, talking to opponents and supporters of aerial 1080 use. The resulting documentary is still being edited.

Brownbill says DOC and the Animal Health Board (AHB) were “empires built on poison” and British viewers of his documentary would be horrified by the poisoning of New Zealand “in the name of the Queen”.

Brownbill’s documentary was commissioned by Britain’s Sky TV.

Brownbill said the programme made it very clear New Zealand’s pure image was a sham.

“When the world gets to know the full horror of how New Zealand is carpet bombing millions of acres of farmland and native forest, there will be a backlash which could seriously affect agricultural exports and tourism,” he said.

“Both DOC and the AHB are empires built on poison.

“New Zealand seems far more concerned about losing its clean-green image than it does about protecting its people.”

Animal Health Board communications manager Nick Hancox said the board was more interested in achieving its aim of reducing TB in New Zealand than “empire building”. —NZPA

Supplied by New Zealand Press Association

SOURCE

RELATED:

0800 Free-call Number for Victims of 1080 Poison Operations

“Brownbill claimed to have found a “hot spot” of 9 people suffering with brain tumours, living around the small town of Kumara, on the West Coast. He went on to say that he believed the tumours were a result of an incident in which he said five tonnes of 1080 bait was buried near a stream in the area, and that no Medical Officer of Health went on to investigate this “hot-spot.” “
READ MORE

Nydia Track Trampers hit by falling 1080 pellets

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


From Stuff

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.

READ MORE:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/editors-picks/9364781/Trampers-1080-poison-landed-on-us?fbclid=IwAR3wkTUR18X2rtsF1XlLLUGw80by9bbOZ5kUEFKuaWrQGPveMXoueqvfS4U


If you are new to the 1080 poisoning program, here is a good article to start with …

WHY ARE PEOPLE SO CONCERNED ABOUT 1080?

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′. 

Milford Sound 1080 drop: what you need to consider regarding the drinking water – an update

The NZ 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.  I believe these are the concerns being raised here, and particularly also with regard to warning tourists of the risks of drinking the water, who may not be able to read the signs (if there indeed are any). Finally, of particular concern is the topography of Milford Sound. When it rains as per the above image, “all of the steep landscape can be considered a streambed”.  EWR.

Read the first Milford Sound article here.


By Sacha Stevenson

Aug 2nd 2019

To: the Community of Milford Sound.

Re: Response to email on 31st July 2019 from John McCutcheon (MSI) to the community and stakeholders, regarding the impending 1080 drop into the public water supply water catchment area of Milford Sound

The key issue:

DOC has issued its intentions to drop a VTA (1080) between Aug 1st and Dec 2019 in the Cleddau/Milford Sound area, including the Bowen River valley, which is the water catchment for the public water supply of Milford Sound.

  • How might this affect the public water supply and its consumers in the Milford Sound area?
  • It won’t, if the drop is aborted in the Bowen River valley water catchment area.

However, if the drop in the catchment area goes ahead, I believe that – on reading the information and links below, both DOC & Milford Sound Infrastructure (MSI –the local public water supply company) should act in good faith, and with the prudent exercise of ethical responsibility, to make sure that an alternate water supply is arranged during and after the 1080 drop. Also, adequate signage should be supplied about the drop –which seems to be the responsibility of Workplace NZ.

Why?

The alternative supply should be offered until testing is carried out and levels of 1080 found to be below the government standard for tests (set at 2 parts per billion, though under 3.5 parts per billion is deemed safe by the EPA.) Note: No human trials have been carried out to know if this level is indeed correct)

Failing the delivery of an alternate water supply, responsibility lies with us – the end operators and consumers, along with WorkSafe NZ – to place signs at all water outlets where human consumption could reasonably be expected to take place. For example, all tourist vessels, port and airport facilities, and all lodgings should have 1080 danger signs erected where water (including tea or coffee) is to be offered during and after aerial operations in the Bowen River catchment area, until post-drop test results are available.

I have now received an email (dated 1 Aug 2019) from Renee Cubitt (Health Protection Officer Public Health South, Southern DHB) where she states:

“… Mitigation measures are discussed between the water supplier and the applicant and monitoring includes testing the water before consumption. Water samples tested for 1080 toxin residue in New Zealand are tested to a very low level of detection. Alternative supplies are arranged before results are cleared (highlight added). In our view the risk to those consuming drinking water is extremely low – and most likely nil.”

But as recognised in this statement, some risk – however small – exists, so an alternative water supply should be offered.

What regulates these requests to drop 1080 and relevant mitigation of risk?

The Ministry of Health is responsible for ensuring that the provisions of the HSNO Act are complied with where it is necessary to protect public health. The Public Health Unit (PHU) is empowered by the Ministry of Health to approve permission and attach conditions to interested parties applying a VTA (Vertebrate Toxic Agent) in a public place. This applies especially to drops into (or near) a public water supply. Public Health South (PHS) processes and approves permissions for VTA use in the Fiordland area, in so doing, sets minimum standards for the intended dispersal area in the Milford Sound public water supply catchment area.

Permission is required because VTAs (of which 1080 is one) are toxic to humans through acute poisoning and chronic exposure. 1080 is considered a hazardous substance, for good reason. (See link to 1080 effects at p7.)

The PHU have issued a Model Permission Statement (see p32 onwards) with examples – one of which focuses on a VTA to be dropped into a public water supply. (Case study 2 at p63.)

Some things that stand out for me with the model PHU permissions:

  • Full disclosure to users is expected, with signs and warnings – which would logically be placed at the point of possible consumption. (See conditions 19 & 20 p47 of VTA permission guide.)
  • An alternate water supply should be offered, if requested, until testing has been completed. (See Case example – Condition 25 p68 note ii and conditions 25 – 32 of VTA permission guide.)

I see the above two points as meeting a legal and moral duty to protect tourists (and locals) from potentially drinking contaminated water.

It should be noted that, according to the opening segment of condition 30 (p57) of the VTA permission guide:

Mitigation shall be mutually agreed in writing between the applicant and water supply managers and involve either or both of the following [emphasis added]:

  • No 1080 shall be applied within 200 m of the water supply intakes. For flowing surface watercourses, the 200 m exclusion shall be extended to 400 m upstream of the point of intake. (p57)
  • If an interim water supply is available, the affected water supply shall be temporarily disconnected until such time as water testing finds no VTA contamination above 50 percent of the Ministry’s PMAV*, in accordance with the requirements of the Drinking-water Standards of New Zealand. (p57)

The first point above is modified (example given in condition (30 pg57) by:

In steep areas, the exclusion area may need to be increased to avoid bait falling in to the waterway [emphasis added].

Local conditions affecting the toxicity of any drop in this area

Let’s be honest, the whole Milford Sound area has extremely steep gradients.

Bowen River valley and public water supply catchment area (see red circled area)

map cleddau milford etc
Figure 1: (Map clipped 4 July 2019 from the online DOC map.)

Fiordland is a unique area in terms of its topography and rainfall. The Bowen River catchment valley is rather like a giant granite bath, with very little top soil, and average rainfall of 7000mm per annum.

During rainfall, all of the steep landscape can be considered a streambed.

Milford_Sound_vertical_water_ways[1]
Figure 2: Milford steep gradient waterways during heavy rain in Milford Sound (Photo: Sacha Stevenson)
Contrasting the 2D nature of the 2017 GPS flight path map for the 1080 drop in this area with the reality of the length of the Bowen River and its many, many feeder streams (via a camping map) also gives perspective to the special nature of this landscape and its potential for major 1080 runoff into the waters feeding our drinking water supply.

Untitled.png

Figure 3: Flight path for 2017 drop (from EPA Report) Figure 4: Topography (from Camping Map)

This unique topography, together with winter temperatures, ice and snow melt, will likely increase the risk of 1080 arriving at the intake area intact, and at the same time and breaking down much more slowly. According to TBFree: “How 1080 Breaks Down in Soil and Water”:

Biodegradation of 1080 is faster in warmer conditions (20degC), but still occurs at 5degC. At cooler temperatures rates of degradation are slower…..”

Imagine the perfect storm: A huge rain soon after the drop and all the aerially dispersed 1080 pellets wash straight into the streams and make their way to the public water supply intake around the same time. This poison then, being a deadly toxin at single digit parts per billion, arrives to be consumed by a pregnant woman, above the levels that the mother and child can metabolize safely.

Is it possible that 1080 might get to the intake before it breaks down? Considering the nature of the topography here, the winter temperatures and the international exposure of our iconic location, ALL options of mitigating risks should be enacted.

The 2017 DOC report (at p6) reported a positive 1080 test at 1ppb for the Bowen River (ie a fairly small risk). However, as discussed above, different conditions (eg heavy rain around the time of the drop) may adversely affect that risk level.

Timing of water samples

Landcare Research, in its “Guideline for Sampling and Testing of Water” states (at 3.1) that:

Urgent samples for 24-hour turnaround testing may be sent unfrozen to the testing laboratory, but they must be chilled to 4°C and placed on ice as soon as possible after collection.

Looking closer at Landcare’s testing regime (at 4.0): “Results will be available no later than 9.30 a.m.

on the following day.” This means, at a minimum, no water should be drunk in Milford for 24hrs.

The precautionary principle

The HSNO Act (at s7) is predicated on a precautionary approach, especially where there is uncertainty about the effects of a course of action, which there must be in this case.

This precautionary aspect is reflected in the PHU Guidelines for VTAs:

  • The specific characteristics and risk profile of each VTA operation is different, depending on the VTA being used, the terrain and factors such as public use patterns and/or proximity to dwellings and water supplies. The Model Permit Conditions may need to be modified in order to adequately manage the level of the risk to public health.[From page iii, emphasis added]
  • The Model Permit Conditions are intended as a starting point. They should not be applied as a generalised standard ‘set’ of conditions. They provide a framework that officers can adjust in order to meet local needs. However, officers need to ensure that they fully consider the various risks and characteristics of each specific proposed VTA operation in order to determine the appropriate Model Permit Conditions to be used and how such conditions might need to be modified to adequately manage the public health risks posed by that particular operation.” [From page 2, emphasis added]

Guidelines are not the law. They are a mechanism for giving effect to the law – and to its precautionary approach.

Milford Sound – a major tourist attraction

Milford Sound is one of NZ’s iconic tourist locations. We have somewhere between 500 to 5,000 guests per day visiting the Fiord, hosted by various companies across the different seasons. The large majority of tourists are foreign nationals, many of whom don’t speak or read English very well.

Until at least the 24th July 2019, Milford Sound Infrastructure acknowledged they hadn’t been notified of the impending drop. Since the community was notified by MSI on the 31st July, we can assume we now have at least 2 months until the scheduled drop begins, as per the guidelines:

The notice must be given sufficiently prior to, but within two months of, the proposed application of the VTA (PHU VTA Permission – condition 27 Notification)

I understand that some of the companies here are planning to make bottled water available for their staff, but none of them (as far as I know) are planning to offer bottled water to the tourists, or even to put notices up in the terminal or on the vessels to warn them of the 1080 drop – so they can at least make an informed choice as to whether they will consume the potentially contaminated water or not.

I believe in ‘free will’ and I can understand some people believe the Government/DOC scientists when they say the water will be safe to drink.

However, around 3% of 1080 tests in water have come back positive for 1080 over the years, with at least 4 positive tests in drinking water, albeit in low concentrations. (See TBFree, p3.)

Knowing that 1080 is teratogenic (may cause birth defects) and with my partner being pregnant, I wouldn’t wish her to have any exposure whatsoever to 1080. I assume no foreign national in her position would wish to be exposed to that risk either. (See MOH Guidelines p7 re known 1080 effects.)

I am disappointed that neither DOC, MSI Milford Sound Infrastructure, or MST Milford Sound Tourism NZ (the port operational company that operate the terminal and dock facilities) are planning to at least inform the tourists that the water they may drink in the terminal and on board the vessels may potentially have a birth defect causing agent in it.

It is probably true that signs will likely be erected along the road into Milford, as we have seen done in various locations around NZ. But it is wrong to conclude that because those signs are at rest areas etc, that foreigners will equate that with the drinking water supply inthe terminal and on the vesselsetc, as being also potentially contaminated. One must remember that many visitors can’t read English for a start, plus many come from areas where it is obvious that one doesn’t drink from any tap water.

Is it obvious here?

I would expect the duty of care and a minimum standard would mean that we’d firstly err on the side of caution. I would also assume that foreign governments would want us to set the minimum standard bar rather high when it comes to looking after the health and welfare of their citizens. As we would hope they do for our citizens when they’re abroad.

We know that the US and China for example, among others, take the safety of their citizens travelling overseas very seriously.

Do we need reminding that there is no antidote to 1080 poisoning?

It really seems easy to avoid the vast majority of the risks in this case. Just don’t drop 1080 in the water catchment area: meaning no 1080 to be aerially dropped in the Bowen River valley area of Milford Sound.

If DOC is so determined to go-ahead with the poison drop in the catchment area, then full disclosure to tourists should be made and an alternate drinking water supply offered (as per the model PHU statement example of 1080 in a public water supply).

It’s embarrassing that we call our country ‘Open and Inclusive’ ‘Clean Green’ etc and yet treat foreigners with this sort of disrespect.

I would like to add, I have no issue with the normal supply and delivery of water in Milford Sound. As long as I’ve worked here, MSI and MST have both operated with professionalism and worked to fix any issues with the greatest of haste.

A final point

If the aerial drop in the Bowen River catchment area is aborted, there would be no risk to the public water supply.

If you are concerned, please speak up and send your concerns to DOC and MSI.

Kind regards,

S Stevenson

Skipper – Milford Sound

Here is a link to the 1080 data sheet: Associated Information

 

Addendum

Untitled2.png
Lady Bowen Falls – With the Bowen River catchment above and behind the falls

(Photo: S Stevenson on 31 July 2019)


RELATED: EWR links to articles on 1080 in water. Search for other articles on 1080 poison at the categories drop down box at the left of the news page.

If you are new to the 1080 poisoning program, here is a good article to start with …

WHY ARE PEOPLE SO CONCERNED ABOUT 1080?

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′. EWR

 

 

 

More on the disposal of 1080 in our landfills

The Whanganui item in this is the gob smacker. Unlined hole, old wetlands reserve turned landfill, undisclosed to public by all appearances, right dab next to a PRIMARY SCHOOL! How irresponsible is THAT? … EWR.

From NO to 1080 use in NZ FB page

1080 poison (Sodium Monofluoroacetate) is a hazardous chemical that is repeatedly dumped in New Zealand’s landfill sites (official and unofficial) without consideration for the potential harm. Contrary to some claims, 1080 does not easily breakdown into ‘harmless by-products’: one teaspoon of the poison can kill and harm as many as a hundred adults. It is highly lethal, stable in water, disperses readily through the environment, and in some conditions remains poisonous for months, if not years. For instance, in March 2000, 20 tonnes of mixed, unwanted 1080 poison baits, between 8-20 years old, were buried in West Coast farmland. When tested a few months later, the substance was still highly toxic.

Official Informatiom Act responses have revealed that for decades, Auckland, Canterbury, Winton, Whanganui and Marton landfills have all been recipients of tonnes of unwanted 1080 poison. This is because according the manufacturers, the cereal baits have a limited shelf-life (how convenient for their profit margins?). Apparently, depending upon storage environments, damp and mould can affect the palatability and structure of the poison baits, which can mean they are unstable, unsafe and unsuitable to be distributed aerially via the helicopter hoppers. To summarise some of our findings:

• In August 1996, over 12 tonnes of unwanted highly toxic 1080 poison baits were buried in a purpose-dug pit in a managed landfill site at Winton, central Southland. Weeks after the burial, toxic 1080 was still present in some of the groundwater samples (despite unreliable testing methodology).

• 66 tonnes of 1080 poison baits, originally intended for Makarora aerial pest control operation (2015) were unused because of the poor weather. The spoiled poison baits were sent to a Manawatu-Whanganui landfill site (Probably, Marton).

• A storage shed in Haast was swamped during recent flooding, and the rising river water damaged over 16 tonnes of toxic 1080 bait. This week, that poison has been buried at…you guessed it, Marton.

• In February 2018, 600kgs of 1080 poison baits was transported from the Whitianga storage site (within a residential area) to a North Auckland landfill.

• Also in 1996, in Whanganui (near the 1080 poison factory) 61 tonnes of 1080 poison cereal bait was buried in a shallow, unlined hole at the landfill site, now known as Balgownie Reserve. Tragically, this area was previously a precious wetland of historical and cultural significance. A primary school is situated next door.

There are many other stories waiting to be exposed. Meanwhile, none of New Zealand’s authorities adheres to international guidelines on toxic waste disposal, including the requirement to monitor community health in these areas. And concerns are repeatedly raised about potential harmful affects from the storage, disposal and aerial distribution of 1080 poison.

In the USA and in Europe, authorities are waking-up to their responsibilities to citizens. New funding is being provided to enable the costly clean-up of old toxic dump sites, and this involves specialists digging up the hazardous waste and disposing of it safely. Public health is a priority.

It’s bad enough to distribute tonnes of 1080 poison baits over thousands of hectares—66 tonnes of the poison baits could kill or seriously harm almost the whole population of New Zealand. It’s another thing however to dump this amount of lethally toxic substance into one shallow hole. What impact could a highly concentrated amount of this toxic chemical have on the health of nearby, unknowing, small communities?

When is the New Zealand Government going to face up to the magnitude of our ongoing soil and water contamination, stop the dumping of hazardous waste and start the crucial clean-up operations?

Imminent 1080 drop at Milford Sound: a local is concerned at the lack of communication with tourists on the health risks regarding drinking water

Impending Milford Sound 1080 drop (Southland Cleddau area)

By Sacha Stevenson

1080 – It’s nothing new to most Kiwis. Opinions are divided.

The last aerial drop of 1080 here was only two years ago. Before the last drop (although I wasn’t working in Milford at the time) there was some community consultation, including a Q & A session with the Department of Conservation (DoC) – the lead agency involved with the drop in this region. I understand some local workers and one Iwi objected, but the drop went ahead anyway, including into the public water supply catchment area.

The next drop in the Southland Cleddau/Milford Sound area is scheduled for between Aug 1st and Dec 2019 and, just like the Sept 2017 drop, this again includes dropping 1080 into the water supply.

(See map below clipped 4 July 2019 from the online DOC map.)

In my opinion, the community here has not had an honest open forum to voice their say on the next scheduled drop (and every opinion is valid) but much worse, even if we get to have our say, chances are high that the tourists will be left uninformed.

There are many aspects to this topic, many already discussed. One of the main aspects here being in regards to the Public Health Unit (PHU) VTA Permission and conditions statement and its lack of implementation here in Milford Sound, and the effect it may have on locals and tourists. I’m not a lawyer, but I see this as a legal and moral failing in our duty to protect tourists (and locals).

The Ministry of Health (the Ministry) is responsible for ensuring that the provisions of the Hazardous Substances & New Organisms (HSNO) Act are complied with where it is necessary to protect public health. The Public Health Unit (PHU) is legislated by the Ministry of Health, to approve permission and attach conditions to interested parties applying a VTA (Vertebrate Toxic Agent) in a public place. This applies especially to drops into (or near) a public water supply. Public Health South (PHS) processes and approves permissions for the Fiordland area.

Permission is required because VTAs (of which 1080 is one) are toxic to humans through acute poisoning and chronic exposure. 1080 is considered a hazardous substance, for good reason. (See link to 1080 effects at p7.)

The PHU have issued a mode HYPERLINK “https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/guidelines-issuing-permission-for-using-vertebrate-toxic-agents-march13.pdf”l statement form (see p32 onwards) with examples – which includes one for where a VTA is to be dropped into a public water supply.

Some things stand out for me with the model PHU permissions:

1)  Full disclosure to users is expected, with signs and warnings (which would logically be placed at the point of possible consumption)(see conditions 19 & 20 pg47 of VTA permission guide.)

2)  An alternate water supply should be offered, if requested, until testing has been completed. (Case example – Condition 25 p67 note ii and conditions 25 – 32 of VTA permission guide.)

Bowen River valley and public water supply catchment area (see red circled area)

map cleddau milford etc

Figure 1: (Map clipped 4 July 2019 from the online DOC map.)

Milford Sound is one of NZ’s iconic tourist locations. We have between 500 to 5000 guests per day visiting the Fiord, hosted by various companies across the different seasons. The large majority of tourists are foreign nationals, many of whom don’t speak or read English very well.

However, I’ve had contact with the public water supply company in the last week, confirming that they’ve had no warning about the upcoming use of 1080. (As at 24th July)

Not a good start.

Despite the lack of communication from DoC (the lead agency for this particular drop) and from the aerial application contractor, many of the workers here in Milford know the drop is now imminent.

I understand that some of the companies here are planning to make bottled water available for their staff, but none of them (as far as I know) are planning to offer bottled water to the tourists, or even to put notices up in the terminal or on the vessels to warn them of the 1080 drop – so they can choose for themselves whether they would like to drink the tap water or not.

I believe in ‘free will’ and I can understand some people believe the Government/DoC scientists when they say the water will be safe to drink. But there have been around 3% of positive tests for 1080 in water over the years, with at least 4 positive tests in drinking water, albeit in low concentrations. (See TBFree HYPERLINK “https://ospri.co.nz/assets/Uploads/Documents/How-1080-Breaks-Down-in-Soil-Water.pdf” info, p3.)

Knowing that 1080 is teratogenic (may cause birth defects) and with my partner being pregnant, I wouldn’t wish her to have any exposure whatsoever to 1080. I assume no foreign national in her position would wish to be exposed to that risk either. (See MOH Guidelines p7 re known 1080 effects.)

I am shocked that it appears that no one in Milford, including DoC, Milford Sound Tourism NZ (MST – the port operational company),  Milford Sound Infrastructure ((MSI – the public water supply company), or the tourist companies providing vessels and the drinking water aboard them, is planning to at least inform the tourists that the water they may drink in the terminal and on board the vessels may potentially have a birth defect causing agent in it.

It is probably true that signs will likely be erected along the road into Milford, as we have seen done in various locations around NZ. But it is wrong to conclude that because those signs are at the rest areas, that foreigners will equate that with the drinking water in the terminal and on the boats being also potentially contaminated. One must remember, that many visitors can’t read English for a start, plus many come from areas where it is obvious that one doesn’t drink from any tap. Is it obvious here?

I would expect the duty of care and a minimum standard would mean that we’d firstly err on the side of caution. I would also assume that foreign governments would want us to set the minimum standard bar rather high when it comes to looking after the health and welfare of their citizens. As we would hope they do for our citizens when they’re abroad.

We know that the US and China for example, among others, take the safety of their citizens travelling overseas very seriously.

To add to the issues, Fiordland is a unique area in terms of its topography and rainfall. The Bowen River catchment valley is rather like a giant granite bath, with very little top soil, and average rainfall of 7000mm per annum. Together with winter temperatures, ice and snow melt, this will likely increase the risk of 1080 arriving at the intake at the same time and breaking down much more slowly. Further, according to TBFree HYPERLINK “https://ospri.co.nz/assets/Uploads/Documents/How-1080-Breaks-Down-in-Soil-Water.pdf” NZ:

Biodegradation of 1080 is faster in warmer conditions (20degC), but still occurs at 5degC. At cooler temperatures rates of degradation are slower…..”

Landcare Research not HYPERLINK “https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/209134/Protocol-for-1080-testing-in-water-4th-Edn.pdf”s (at 3.1) that:

Urgent samples for 24-hour turnaround testing may be sent unfrozen to the testing laboratory, but they must be chilled to 4°C and placed on ice as soon as possible after collection.

Looking closer at Landcare’s testing regime (at 4.0): “Results will be available no later than 9.30 a.m. on the following day.” This means, at a minimum, no water should be drunk in Milford for 24hrs.

Do we need reminding that there is no antidote to 1080 poisoning?

It really seems easy to avoid the vast majority of the risks in this case. Just don’t drop 1080 in the water catchment area, meaning no 1080 to be aerially dropped in the Bowen River valley area of Milford Sound.

If DOC is so determined to go-ahead with the poison drop in the catchment area, then full disclosure to tourists should be made and an alternate drinking water supply offered (as per the model PHU statement example of 1080 in a public water supply).

It’s embarrassing that we call our country ‘Open and Inclusive’, ‘Clean Green’ etc and yet treat foreigners with this sort of disrespect.

For more info regarding our area, check out online the 2017 Southland  HYPERLINK “https://www.epa.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Documents/Hazardous-Substances/1080-reports/1080-Operational-Reports/8c05e9d3da/2017-Southland-Cleddau-Report.pdf”Cleddau HYPERLINK

and the 2017 Southland  HYPERLINK “https://www.epa.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Documents/Hazardous-Substances/1080-reports/1080-Operational-Reports/ff456e54d8/2017-Southland-Cleddau-Map.pdf” which shows the GPS flight path of the 2017 1080 drop into the water catchment area.

Also of interest, according to the above Cleddau report; NO non-target species monitoring was undertaken. The water quality testing (pg 6 of DOC’s operational report 5.2.2) revealed the presence of 1080 at 1ppb.

I can tell you that as of writing, we have quite a few Kea (approx 20) hanging out in and around the village here in Milford.

Kea in Milford Sound, down near Deep Water Basin May 2019 Photo Sacha Stevenson
Kea in Milford Sound, down near Deep Water Basin, May 2019 (Photo: Sacha Stevenson)

Plenty of Wekas here as well, plus I’ve seen the odd NZ Falcon eating road kill on the drive into Milford.

Weka at Deep Water Basin July 2019 Photo Sacha Stevenson
Weka at Deep Water Basin July 2019 (Photo: Sacha Stevenson)

I wonder how they will fare with the ‘Clean Green’ 1080 pellets raining down in the near future. Will anyone know if they’ve been affected?

To conclude: yes, opinions on the use of 1080 differ here, but no locals  I’ve talked to think tourists shouldn’t at least be fully informed of what might be in their drinking water, to allow them their ‘Free Will’ to drink the local water or not.

Increase the peace

S Stevenson

Skipper – Milford Sound

An update to this article can be found at this link.


RELATED: EWR links to articles on 1080 in water. Search for other articles on 1080 poison at the categories drop down box at the left of the news page.

If you are new to the 1080 poisoning program, here is a good article to start with …

WHY ARE PEOPLE SO CONCERNED ABOUT 1080?

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′. EWR

 

 

 

 

MANAWATU-WANGANUI LANDFILLS ARE FULL OF 1080 POISON

By Carol Sawyer

Horizons Regional Council have a long history of being lax about 1080 poison going into their region’s landfills it seems. I wrote the following in January 2017:

“George Robinson has worked in the pest control industry all his life. When he left the Manawatu/Wanganui (Horizons) Regional Council he had a gagging order put on him, but the time period is now up.

This is the story he told me:

They used to use (up to 2008-2009 that he knows of) 20% 1080 stock solution and dilute it to a field solution to put it on the green-dyed carrots, for rabbits. He said they had back packs and had it running down their arms, legs, backs….. They used to find dead birds everywhere, blackbirds especially. They were told it all dissolved in water and broke down.

They had a big holding tank and the stock solution could be held for up to 7 or 8 years before it was no good, but a man from a waste removal transport company would come along and pump out the holding tank. He would take it down to the Palmerston North landfill and spread it all over the ground, driving round in a circle. George says this guy was a straight-up sort of chap who was amazed that he was given permission to do it.”

************************************************

Also the 66 tonnes of 1080 poison baits, unused at Makarora, Mt Aspiring National Park, in 2015, ended up being trucked to a Manawatu-Wanganui region landfill according to an OIA response from DoC to Ray Thompson in February 2017 – an identical performance to the 16 tonne one in this recent RadioNZ report attached. 66 tonnes of 1080 baits contain enough pure 1080 to kill 1,414,286 x 70 kg people and poison another 1,414,286 people ( LD50 0.5 to 2 mg per kg bodywight, Negherbon )

*************************************************

If I hadn’t been alerted to a rumour about JJ Nolan’s Haast (Okuru) flood-damaged storage shed, and if Joel Lund had not then gone from Wanaka to Haast and bravely taken photographs of same with a good zoom lens (because we could not be sure until then which building it was, and needed proof – the HazChem sign) and undergone on-site interrogation while he was about it (!), and if Richard Healey had not done terrific captions and graphics plotting the old water courses in the area, and also calculated the size of the storage shed from the photographs, and if Kathy White hadn’t nudged me into sending an OIA request to Worksafe (I hate doing OIAs) which confirmed that flood-damaged bait was disposed of, and if David Haynes had not followed up with a more specific OIA request to the EPA which confirmed quantity, destination and method of disposal, this RadioNZ story would never have emerged.*****

Story in more detail here: https://www.facebook.com/carol.sawyer.3511/posts/2387188484894797

These stories are almost always a joint effort and this is the true power of the anti-1080 movement. So much unacceptable carelessness and dangerous practice is hidden from the public by the Dept of Conservation. It is, frankly, disgusting behaviour. But… it is getting harder and harder for them to hide the truth !!!

*****Footnote: Organisations like Worksafe, DoC, OSPRI, EPA consistently use the full legal limit of 20 working days before responding, and more and more frequently are claiming a need for extensions of time. The flood happened in mid-March and it has taken FOUR MONTHS to get even this small part of the story into the medis – such are the holdups imposed on obtaining information which it is our legal right to have.

 

RNZ.CO.NZ
Listen at the RNZ Audio Player

Female Protester Assaulted by Forest and Bird Conference Attendee – can you identify him?

From Alan Simmons at alansimmons.co.nz
Alan is President & Co-Leader of the NZ Outdoors Party

On the weekend of 29th June a peaceful protest held vigil outside the te Papa Museum in Wellington to show Forest and Bird members attending their annual conference that their support for blanket poisoning of over two million hectares of New Zealand back country was opposed by many.
The protest was peaceful and respectful holding up placards about 20 meters from the doors and handing out brochures to those who wanted them. Many of the Forest and Bird members stopped to talk and it became apparent that a lot were totally opposed to the widespread use or poisons but seemed powerless to change the opinion of the executive.

Suddenly out from within the Conference a male emerged angry and on a mission yelling abuse at the protesters and wanting to engage in a yelling match. Security tried to come between him and the protesters and worked really hard to pacify him but his demeanor increased to the point that one of the female protesters, he was right in her face, lawyer, Sue Grey felt quite threatened and started to film it.

At this point I have to say the security team on duty were excellent and tried to come between him and get him to calm down. Suddenly he appeared to lash out at Sue Grey and everyone thought he had punched her but instead he had snatcher her phone from right beside her face and started to walk off with it.
As he did so the security guards followed him and tried to retrieve the phone.  He was now walking quickly away with the phone and I personally ran after him and confronted him asking his name and telling him that he had stolen a lawyers phone with privileged information on it and we would be laying charges with the police. At this point he reluctantly handed the phone over and headed back to re-enter the building however the security guards prevented him from doing so, telling him to leave and he then quickly marched off into the  city.

I am sure I saw him a few hours later walk back to the conference dressed differently. No charges have been laid because we don’t know who he was but I’m sure Forest and Bird do as he would have been on their list of attendees.  If anyone does know who he was please let me know.  His photo is below.

angryPro1080PersonWhoAssultedSue.jpg

here is some video of him before he became very angry.

 

SOURCE:

http://alansimmons.co.nz/blog/index.php/2019/07/06/female-pro

Video Credit: Sue Grey


Do you find it curious that nobody as yet has come forward and identified this man? He is somebody’s father, brother, cousin, employee, employer, neighbour, friend, enemy even? Curious indeed. He looks to me like a man with a mission and not some random member of the public. Just my opinion of course. EWR

DOC Is Building An $11 mil Fortress Based On 35 Abusive Comments A Year.

From Alan Simmons at alansimmons.co.nz
Alan is President & Co-Leader of the NZ Outdoors Party

“The Department of Conservation continue to repeat the same old story about attacks on staff and how it is affecting their role in protecting our precious wildlife. NZ herald  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12249704
This article repeats the same old same old as if their spin doctors have told them that if you repeat the story enough, people will start to believe it. But the opposite is happening and dislike for the Department continues to grow at an alarming rate.

You would think that wise heads in the Department could be thinking what’s going on?  What are we doing that has us becoming the most hated government department when we should be the most loved.
The department of Conservation’s obsession with the aerial spreading 1080 has built a huge dislike of the department as predicted by advisors to the Minister Nick Smith when he rammed through legislation allowing the aerial dropping of 1080 without resource consents. Nick Smith’s advice to cabinet included a statement that “Loss of local decision-making is not an effect of the proposed regulation that could be avoided, but rather its primary purpose.”
In my opinion if you take away the public’s right to be consulted then you will get opposition and resentment as the public have no ability to express their feelings except but by protest.

Using Docs own statistics it has 35 incidents per year where staff are abused or threatened out of a staff of 4000.  According to press reports these are having an accumulative effect on staff and diverting them from their work. I would suspect the threats are mostly via social media and some to rangers in the field undertaking enforcement work, so how does this affect the other 3980 staff. Especially when OIA requests to police show few if any of these so called threats are reported.
Rangers trying to enforce whitebait regulations, illegal camping, taking photographs of the landscape and hunting are likely to receive abuse. I would have thought it came with the job or have rangers become so soft and sensitive they report anything that hurts their feelings.?  I personally know of one incident reported where a DOC worker objected to a car parked outside their house that displayed a small ban 1080 bumper sticker.
Is it now an offense to criticise or have differing opinions to a government department?

As a result of the “35 incidents” per year the Department has convinced government to give it 11 million dollars to set up a new division of ex spies or police called “Security and Investigations Team” to deal with these threats.  6 staff to do what one might ask. Drive around town and remove bumper stickers, sit all day on computers and monitor facebook.

Part of the job description lists:

  • Building a security conscious culture and organisational capability
  • Ensuring security and other health and safety incidents are investigated and responded to appropriately

To apply for  this job you need to maintain a “SECRET ” security clearance, you should be able to access  government security and intelligence groups such as NZ Police, security leaders in other government agencies and the NZ Security Intelligence Service.

All of this because people are feeling frustrated about the lack of consultation or the occasional person gives a DOC ranger an earful!
Again DOC will say they have received and successfully prosecuted two major anti 1080 crimes. Both had nothing to do with the “peoples protest”. The first threatened to put 1080 into milk powder and was subsequently found to be a poison supplier who was miffed his own poison was not being used and the second was a lone wolf hunter threatening by letter to release Sika deer. Both were dealt with by the police.

It would seem to me DOC are building a fortress around themselves rather that trying to understand why they are becoming disliked and subject to a hostile public. To my way of thinking a change of culture and understanding would be a far better way to go.

Involve the public and bring the public along with you makes a far more sensible option but I fear DOC are digging themselves into a huge hole to defend their position.

It will take some courage from within the department to start the process of filling in the trenches.

 

SOURCE:

http://alansimmons.co.nz/blog/index.php/2019/07/16/doc-is-building-an-11-mil-fortress-based-on-35-abusive-comments-a-year/?fbclid=IwAR1LTfZcJJRyX9jzSMEm_qXhss8vfQwAipKjSZtQYPpH5txgp7Kl5ATon7Y

RELATED FROM EWR:

SOME TRUTH ON THE ALLEGED THREATS TO DOC STAFF: AN OIA REQUEST TO POLICE REVEALS 9 IN THE LAST 31 MONTHS, DOC SAYS 93 LAST MONTH