Tag Archives: aerial drop

If you suspect you’ve suffered 1080 poisoning in NZ you can’t get tested, despite many DoC signs on poison drop sites saying if poisoning suspected contact the National Poisons Centre

HUMAN BEINGS FALL BETWEEN THE CRACKS WHEN IT COMES TO 1080 POISON

by Carol Sawyer

I did a post earlier today about the Ministry of Primary Industries’ Official Information Act response to an OIA request. Their response (see below) quoted the Animal Welfare Act. The AWA said “If a non-target animal is killed despite using 1080 in accordance with the approved controls, then there is no offence committed under the AWA (section 30A (5))”.

With regard to the AWA comment Peter Marshall pointed out, on ‘Upper Clutha Community Notices’ Facebook page, that “… that includes humans then.”

I thought Peter was onto something, (well, wouldn’t you ?) and I wrote a Facebook post about it. However later, when looking at the section regarding “interpretations” in the AWA I found that, for the purposes of the Animal Welfare Act, humans are not classed as animals.

So I deleted my post. Apologies to those who had shared it.

But that is pretty interesting really, isn’t it? The Animal Welfare Act says we are not animals. What are we then?

Also, if as a human being you suspect you have suffered 1080 poisoning you can’t get tested either, despite many ‘Dept of Conservation’ signs at 1080 poison drops saying that if you suspect poisoning you should contact the National Poisons Centre.

See my conversation with the National Poisons Centre here:

https://www.facebook.com/carol.sawyer.3511/posts/2376542842626028

I guess that means we humans are between a 1080 bait and a hard place😔

 

animal cruelty mpi

 

 

Image by Darko Stojanovic 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

 

DoC are not warning tourists of any risk of 1080 in Milford’s drinking water … & they don’t want you to either

Photo Credit: Sacha Stevenson

By Carol Sawyer

DEPT OF CONSERVATION TELLS TOURISM COMPANY OFF – Skippers are not to warn tourists about the dangers of drinking the water after aerial 1080 drop in Milford Sound area yesterday.

Milford Sound (Arthur, Sinbad and Cleddau Valleys) was aerially poisoned on 15 October, 2019.

Pam Vernon reports (15 October, 2019) “A reader at the Envirowatch Rangitikei site today commented about warning the tourists on the dangers of drinking the water: “Hi there my brother works as a skipper for one of the biggest tourism companys in Milford and one of the skippers warned the customers on the mic and a doc member was on the boat and got seriously offended called her boss then doc warned the company gave them a chewing. The company forced all skippers to say nothing at all or risk consequences. The company is afraid of the bad side of doc because that’s who gives them there consent to cruise in Milford. Blackmail against freedom of speech. This is real as of the other day.”

Another person said, (14 October, 2019, 1080 Eyewitness):

“DOC poisoning operation in Milford tomorrow
Who the hell gives DOC the right to poison our only water supply, the Bowen Falls?
650,000 tourists come here every year to view this pristine environment, if only they knew….. “

I’m told the Bowen Falls are in the drop zone, and the whole township at Milford Sound and all the tourist boats are supplied by water from that source.

OIA responses from Southern DHB and DoC state there is a buffer zone round the Milford water intake which they regard as sufficient. See attached, (plus maps from original notification of the drop).

The Milford Sound water intake is approximately 200m above the Bowen Falls, and I’m told the intake is only about 100m inside the top end of the buffer zone (yellow area on map). Helicopters were seen working along that face. Helicopter pilots tell me 250m is a minimum buffer zone for safety, and more if on a slope, as baits tumble into valleys. Poisoned carcasses will inevitably end up in that waterway, as well, providing further contamination.

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Here is Milford Sound skipper, Sacha Stevenson, on the issue:

https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/…/comment-pag…/…

He says:

“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.”

and of the 2017 drop at Milford Sound he says:

“The water quality testing (pg 6 of DOC’s operational report 5.2.2) revealed the presence of 1080 at 1ppb.”

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Put it this way… I wouldn’t be drinking that water !

According to Leslie McGrath, the Dept of Conservation will not take water tankers in to supply safe water because it is “too expensive” ! However the Department’s response to a request for alternative water supply is at the bottom of page 3 in their OIA response attached.

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Milford Sound, Fiordland (header image) – Photo Wikimedia commons

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WHY RESCUE HELICOPTERS (PRIMARY, RELIEF, BACKUP, WHATEVER……..) SHOULDN’T BE USED IN 1080 POISON OPS

By Carol Sawyer

There has been much discussion about the helicopters used in HeliOtago’s 1080 drops being also used as rescue helicopters for the Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust.

Some people have said that toxic 1080 dust can not get into the helicopters because the blades push the dust down and away from the machines. I have been sent this film by a heli pilot who says this is not so and comments : “From about 2.50 in on this clip, has speed up so vortex is left behind, but at lower speeds it comes back through disc.”

Go to about 2.00 in this film and have a look and imagine it is lethal 1080 dust and not fertiliser. You will be horrified !

Other pilots have told me it is impossible to completely decontaminate a helicopter of 1080 dust – bad for helicopter pilots, helicopter maintenance staff, and PATIENTS – and any passengers actually. Don’t get into a 1080 poison helicopter if you can avoid it !

 

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.

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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

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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

 

 

 

NINE IWI REPS APPROVED THE RECENT LUGGATE AERIAL 1080 DROP – BUT NONE APPEAR TO LIVE IN LUGGATE, & YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO KNOW WHO THEY ARE

NINE IWI REPS APPROVE LUGGATE AERIAL 1080 DROP – BUT NONE APPEAR TO LIVE IN LUGGATE, AND WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO KNOW WHO THEY ARE EITHER !!!

(Related articles on the Luggate 1080 drop)

OSPRI’S planning process is supposed to include stakeholder meetings (isn’t that the affected community?) and consultation with landowners, Iwi, and government agencies.

Well the community at Luggate, less than 1 km from the imminent Alice Burn East aerial 1080 drop zone, did not get a meeting. However we are told nine Iwi representatives have been consulted (really ?!) but we are not allowed to know who they are or where they live.What a very strange state of affairs !

See correspondence between Luggate resident, and member of the Luggate 1080 Action Group, Tracey Morrow, and Sam Anderson-Mangai, Senior Health Protection Officer, Public Health Service / Public Health South, Southern DHB. (He signs of the aerial 1080 drop.)

Here is the correspondence:

A LUGGATE

B LUGGATE

C LUGGATE

D LUGGATE

E LUGGATE

Dishonouring their promise to consult, OSPRI are thumbing their noses at Luggate residents’ concerns over dust drift from an imminent aerial 1080 poison drop

Remember, this is a Class 1A Ecotoxin with no research studies done on 1080’s impact on the unborn, and this dust is known to drift with the wind. The late Dr Scanlon raised concerns about these risks. The drop in question is near the Luggate community & an ag-61797802_2371956503084662_3183807064082219008_n.jpgpilot of 6,000 hrs flight time has just sounded a warning regarding the dangers of the current winds influencing that drift onto the small township. This is not rocket science and yet OSPRI who promised to consult, have failed to do so. Remember also what Dr Charles Baycroft said about 1080 poisoning? If you are poisoned nobody will know because the MOH are bullying Doctors NOT TO TEST FOR 1080! Please visit our page, Suspected 1080 Poisoning Cases for further information on that topic. EWR


OSPRI REFUSE TO CONSULT WITH LUGGATE COMMUNITY OVER AERIAL 1080 DROP

By Carol Sawyer

As a result of the public meeting the Luggate 1080 Action Group held in the Luggate Hotel, 21 May, 2019, a letter was sent by Cherilyn Walthew ( on behalf of the Group ) to OSPRI’s Programme Manager, Eric Chagnon, asking for OSPRI’s attendance at a public meeting to fulfil their obligations with regard to community consultation, and containing a list of questions generated from the wider community at that community meeting at the Luggate Hotel,( see attachments) That original letter is at bottom.

Here is the response received today from ???? ( Team OSPRI), and Cherilyn Walthgew’s reply to that, also today:

From: Community Relations Southern South Island <CR_SSI@ospri.co.nz>
Sent: Thursday, June 6, 2019 8:13 AM
Subject: RE: Urgent. Outstanding questions regarding the proposed Luggate 1080 drop, 2019

Dear Cherilyn,

Thankyou for the invitation, however, OSPRI considers that all statutory obligations for the operation concerned have been met.

Your questions will be responded to as soon as possible within the required timeframe.

Yours sincerely,

The team at OSPRI

OSPRI New Zealand Limited

Level 1, 399 Moray Place, PO Box 5745, Moray Place, Dunedin 9058

P 03 477 9829 | ospri.co.nz

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Cherilyn Walthew responds:

Dear “Team at OSPRI”,

It is interesting that in refusing our invitation to come and meet the community for consultation to answer the pre-identified questions we have already sent you, you have now morphed from Eric Chagnon to a “faceless identity”.

The community of Luggate does not consider that you have met your statutory obligations around “public consultation” and given you assured them this would happen, it is not unreasonable to request that you uphold this commitment. Especially as this drop is to occur in what could be considered a highly populated “remote and inaccessible” area.

We are aware that in most circumstances, the residents of “remote and inaccessible” areas generally don’t “speak” however, in this case, the residents include quite a large number of people who reside in an area that has a 1km boundary from the poison operation.

These same people have raised serious health concerns with you, ranging from dust drift from the toxic class 1a ecotoxin monosodium fluoroacetate (1080) to E.coli contamination of water tributaries, that run through the village, as a result of rotting carcasses.

I feel that I really need to point out the obvious here, you have not met your obligations for public consultation as you committed to do so in 2017 for any future operation. Given your past history of nearly poisoning people outright, this is a shameful stance.

Pregnant women and those with health concerns have no wish to be guinea pigs in your experiments with this toxic poison. In the name of human decency, were you at least planning to publicly inform people when this drop is commencing so that pregnant women and mothers will have an opportunity to protect both existing and unborn children?

I will now be petitioning all relevant parties who have issued consents, for them to suspend the consents until these serious concerns can be responded to, and consulted on, in conjunction with the community.

I have included the question file for those parties who are cc’d in on this email and may not have seen these at this time.

This is very disappointing behaviour from your organisation and troubling from one that is looking for community support, yet fails to engage in any meaningful or genuine manner.

In the meantime, we will look to progress a public meeting without you.

Yours sincerely

Cherilyn Walthew

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On Fri, May 31, 2019 at 2:00 PM Cherilyn Walthew wrote:

Dear Eric,

It is with alarm that I read of OSPRI’s intentions, in the Wanaka Sun, to start dropping poison around the settlement of Luggate as of the 1st June, 2019.

To date, OSPRI have not fronted for genuine consultation with the Public as was promised back in 2017 by one of your predecessors.

There are still a number of questions that the community would like you to answer prior to the commencement of your poisoning operation and given that you and your Organization appear reluctant to come and discuss this, we would like to take this opportunity, on the 1 year anniversary of your organization walking out of the last promised community consultation, to invite you to a genuine consultation event.

We are aware that your staff have made claims of being “ambushed” in the past with our questions and there have been other claims that you were concerned for the health and safety of your staff. These are very destressing claims and I can assure you there is absolutely no threat to your staff from our community however, we will also look to invite a number of other people to attend the consultation meeting including MPs, local councilors, DoC representatives, Police etc. to ensure that you feel fully comfortable in your environment.

In addition, we are including a copy of the questions that have been raised by the community in advance of our requested meeting so, that you can prepare yourselves appropriately.

We are aware that the 1080 discussion has been subject to many claims of “mis-information”, particularly around these aerial operations. Therefore, in good faith, we will appoint an independent “fact-checker” to adjudicate on the answers.

We are happy to take on the administration of arranging the meeting and co-ordinate the additional guest list if you would let us know a date that will suit you and the relevant staff members you require to attend. We will be happy to try and accommodate any date after the 11th of June. I realise this is after the date you had indicated commencement for this operation however, had you come to us earlier, we may have been in a position to arrange things a bit quicker.

In view of the lack of facilities in Luggate, our suggested venues would be either the Hawea Flat Community Hall which we can secure for free and is available on either Monday evenings or Thursday evenings after 7pm. Or, we are checking dates that the Lake Wanaka Centre is available and will forward you some dates as soon as possible. The Lake Wanaka Centre will have an associated charge and we would expect you to incur this cost as part of your community consultation budget, if this is the preferred venue.

There has been some reluctance in the past by your Organization, and associated parties, to answer these same questions however, it is a matter of public urgency that you do so, before irreparable damage is caused by your actions, as was nearly the case in 2017 with the residential water supplies.

This list of questions has been generated by the wider community at a gathering in Luggate on the 21st of May. This was coordinated by a local volunteers and is a community initiative under the collective name Luggate 1080 Action Group.

Before commencing the poison operation, we formally ask that in the spirit of human decency, you answer these questions first.

Given the urgency of this subject, please respond with your intentions by close of business on Tuesday, 4th of June so, that may continue with arranging the necessary details and ensure invites are put out to the relevant parties.

Yours sincerely and on behalf of people representing

Luggate 1080 Action Group

Cherilyn Walthew

Tracey Morrow

Carol Sawyer

Kirstin Dana

Joel Lund


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NOTE: 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.

This is a venue for pointing to the independent science you won’t read in mainstream. It is not a forum to host for and against debate, you will have to find another venue to do that. Social media is a good option. And we neither advocate nor condone violence.

With NO community consultation & in spite of health warnings by an ag-pilot a 1080 aerial operation at Luggate is soon to go ahead

By Carol Sawyer

LUGGATE 1080 DROP GOING AHEAD WITH NO COMMUNITY CONSULTATION …. at any date after this weekend!

OSPRI Programme Manager, Southern South Island, Eric Chagnon, responded to Tracey Morrow of Luggate today… see comment highlighted in screenshot. (Tracey had written a long email outlining all the concerns about this drop, which I will post up separately). The advertisement for the 1080 drop was in Thursday’s ‘Wanaka Sun’. His response states “We are consulting with landowners and other affected parties”. Well there are only two landowners, who have not said a ‘dicky bird’, and a whole small town less than a kilometre away which Eric is IGNORING, so I am not sure who the “other affected parties” are.

He also says, in justification for non-consultation,

“This (drop) area is much smaller than previously planned aerials”.

Is there a sort of hectare limit below which you do not need to consult? Fascinating. This is a new one!

This man needs to front up… and NOW.

On 10 August, 2017, ‘Wanaka Sun’ (yes, this debacle has been going on for two years) Eric Chagnon’s predecessor, Brent Rohloff, wrote …

“Consultation with the Luggate community would be conducted “well before” the drop was due to be completed.”

Eric Chagnon also received the following communication from Cherilyn Walthew (Luggate 1080 Action Group) today:

“Dear Eric,

It is with alarm that I read of OSPRI’s intentions, in the Wanaka Sun, to start dropping poison around the settlement of Luggate as of the 1st June, 2019.

To date, OSPRI have not fronted for genuine consultation with the Public as was promised back in 2017 by one of your predecessors.

There are still a number of questions that the community would like you to answer prior to the commencement of your poisoning operation and given that you and your Organization appear reluctant to come and discuss this, we would like to take this opportunity, on the 1 year anniversary of your organization walking out of the last promised community consultation, to invite you to a genuine consultation event.

We are aware that your staff have made claims of being “ambushed” in the past with our questions and there have been other claims that you were concerned for the health and safety of your staff. These are very distressing claims and I can assure you there is absolutely no threat to your staff from our community. However we will also look to invite a number of other people to attend the consultation meeting including MPs, local councillors, DoC representatives, Police etc. to ensure that you feel fully comfortable in your environment.

In addition, we are including a copy of the questions that have been raised by the community in advance of our requested meeting so, that you can prepare yourselves appropriately.

We are aware that the 1080 discussion has been subject to many claims of “misinformation”, particularly around these aerial operations. Therefore, in good faith, we will appoint an independent “fact-checker” to adjudicate on the answers.

We are happy to take on the administration of arranging the meeting and co-ordinate the additional guest list if you would let us know a date that will suit you and the relevant staff members you require to attend. We will be happy to try and accommodate any date after the 11th of June. I realize this is after the date you had indicated commencement for this operation. However, had you come to us earlier, we may have been in a position to arrange things a bit quicker.

In view of the lack of facilities in Luggate, our suggested venues would be either the Hawea Flat Community Hall which we can secure at no charge, and is available on either Monday evenings or Thursday evenings after 7pm. Additionally, we are checking dates that the Lake Wanaka Centre is available and will forward you some dates as soon as possible. The Lake Wanaka Centre will have an associated charge and we would expect you to incur this cost as part of your community consultation budget, if this is the preferred venue.

There has been some reluctance in the past by your organization and associated parties to answer these same questions. However it is a matter of public urgency that you do so before irreparable damage is caused by your actions, as was nearly the case in 2017 with the residential water supplies.

This list of questions has been generated by the wider community at a gathering in Luggate on the 21st of May. This was coordinated by local volunteers and is a community initiative under the collective name Luggate 1080 Action Group.

Before commencing the poison operation, we formally ask that in the spirit of human decency, you answer these questions first.

Given the urgency of this subject, please respond with your intentions by close of business on Tuesday, 4th of June so, that may continue with arranging the necessary details and ensure invites are put out to the relevant parties.

Yours sincerely and on behalf of people representing

Luggate 1080 Action Group

Cherilyn Walthew
Tracey Morrow
Carol Sawyer
Kirstin Dana
Joel Lund”

Eric Chagnon, a man of few words, responded today:

“In response to your email and to a voice mail message from Carol Sawyer left earlier today, I confirm that there will be NO aerial operation going on in Luggate VCZ over the Queen’s Birthday weekend.”

Questions arising from the public meeting held at Luggate are attached to this post.

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Upcoming aerial 1080 drop, Luggate – ‘unjustifiable & very dangerous to community’ – an ag-pilot speaks out

UPCOMING AERIAL 1080 DROP, LUGGATE – UNJUSTIFIABLE AND VERY DANGEROUS TO COMMUNITY – AN AG-PILOT SPEAKS OUT

By Carol Sawyer

DUST CONTAMINATION:

The immediate threat to Luggate township, (near Wanaka, Central Otago), is that the prevailing wind at this time of year comes straight down the valley to Luggate. See ag-pilot John Sarginson’s testimony here:

“‘The Pisa range to the Southwest of Luggate is known to generate Katabatic winds (downhill winds). Katabatic winds are very common on calm wind days typical of the days we have in Autumn, Winter and Spring, hence fog in the lower catchments. These winds start from high on the Pisa range and start flowing down the hillsides, gaining speed as the night approaches. They flow with strength well into the small hours of the night. Hence there is often no fog in these areas in the evenings.

It is very common for places like Luggate and Queensberry to experience long periods (> 10 hours) of quite strong Katabatic winds, say > than 15 knots (30 km/h) late evenings. The Katabatic winds are strongest when channelled by valleys. Luggate has four main valley systems that line these winds up for the Luggate township. The four valleys are Luggate Creek, Alice Burn, Tin Hut, and Dead Horse Creek. All four valley katabatic wind systems converge on the township of Luggate.

As a former accredited agricultural pilot with more than 6000 hours of flight time I would consider dispensing 1080 in the hills to the south of Luggate during these times of the year to be a very high risk to all. The baits may fall in no wind, but when the wind increases, maybe days later, some baits will fall further in scrub and others are blown across exposed areas causing toxic dust to become airborne again. Sublethal amounts of a harmful poison would be distributed onto roofs that collect drinking water and onto gardens that grow food.

No one can guarantee such drift of 1080 dust will not cause future health risks to our generation, or to generations of the future.

No one can guarantee that people won’t suffer increased illnesses or deficiencies.

No one can guarantee that people’s lives will not be shortened by 1080 toxic dust.

And worse still, no one can claim to detect acute 1080 poisoning in all instances, and sublethal poisoning is almost impossible to detect.

My past work has involved the application of many chemicals onto our land, including 1080 poison, and I still have a vested interest in aerial ag operations and wish to protect it. It is my view from the knowledge I have gained in industry, that sublethal 1080 poisoning is a very real and dangerous risk that should be avoided. Effects from sublethal 1080 poisoning can’t be detected or traced, symptoms mirror other serious illnesses, there is no known antidote, and again no one knows the extent of its real dangers.

John Sarginson, Thornbury, Southland, 28 May, 2019

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Statements from the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) Review (2007) outlined the threat from toxic 1080 dust . See note 2 at end.

Also the NZ Journal of Ag Research has an interesting article on dust contamination. See note 3 at end.

A scoping study was done by the Institute for Environmental Science and Research (ESR) which mentions the possibility of dust inhalation and dust deposition on food and crops and in drinking water. See note 4 at end.

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NO TB IN WILDLIFE:

In mid-May, 2019, I spoke to Eric Chagnon, operations manager OSPRI, Dunedin, who told me there has been no change in their information/justifications for the drop since last year. In other words the status quo remains the same as it was in June, 2018. Here are the findings at that time, as revealed in a response to an OIA request by Alan Galletly:

OSPRI’s findings:

260 possums tested – NONE with TB
130 ferrets tested ONE with TB in 2012
6 feral pigs tested – NONE with TB

See complete OIA response below. Note 1.

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THAT 2012 FERRET:

When Mt Roy, Wanaka, was due to be aerially 1080-poisoned, in early 2015, one of the justifications for it, received via OIA request, was that same ferret found at Luggate, 20 km away, in 2012.

Mt Roy never happened. The Alice Burn East drop at Luggate should not be happening either!

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WATERWAYS:

This drop is less than 1 km from the nearest homes in Luggate Village and the baits will be going directly into the Alice Burn and Luggate Creek, which flows through Luggate Village and through the Luggate Campground. Poisoned carcasses will also end up in the two waterways. ( Both the end of Atkins Rd and end of Kingan Rd, including the Camp Ground, are less than 1km away from the drop boundary.)

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ACCESSIBILITY:

The land is NOT inaccessible for trapping… see photo… and this is borne out by the fact they trapped possums there for TB testing! There is no need to arerially and indiscriminately drop poison from helicopters onto this land. See photos.

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END NOTES:

Note 1:

Alan Galletly’s OIA request and OSPRI responses… 2018

Question: How close to the drop zone is the nearest infected herd?

Answer: Adjacent to the aerial control

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Q :What monitoring of possums has been done in the drop zone? If so when was this done?

A: None

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Not guilty!

Q : Have possums been caught in the drop zone. If so when

A: Yes: 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2016

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Q: Were any possums tested for TB from the drop zone? What number were tested for TB? What was the results of those tests?

A: Yes: 260 tested , 0 positive for TB

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Q: Have any ferrets been caught in the drop zone ? If so when.

A: Yes: 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018

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

Q: Were any ferrets tested for TB from the drop zone? What number were tested for TB? What was the results of those tests?

A: Yes: 130: 1 positive for TB (2012)

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Q: Have any feral pigs been caught in the drop zone? If so when?

A: Yes: 2014 and 2015

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Q: Were any feral pigs tested for TB from the drop zone? What number of feral pigs were tested for TB? What were the results of those tests?

A: Yes; 6 tested; 0 positive for TB

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

Q: What percentage of the drop zone is Department Of Conservation estate. What is the total hectares of DOC estate in the drop zone if any?

A: Out of total consented area of 1,973 hectares:

292 ha DOC
1,681 ha private land

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

Q: Spending taxpayers money to solve a non-existent problem – bovine TB

What is the total OSPRI budget for the Luggate aerial drop and is it expected to exceed that budget ?

A: The Alice Burn East Aerial is not expected to exceed the budgeted amount of $194,640

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Q: How close to the drop zone is the nearest infected herd?

A: Adjacent to the aerial control

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Q: Finally I must remind you of your obligation to consult with the local community. To date you have failed dismally and the behaviour of OSPRI staff at the Wanaka event can best be described as childish and completely unacceptable for such an government appointed organization. You are obliged to address public concerns and you have failed to do so to date. I ask when are you going to do this in a public forum?

A: OSPRI considers that all statutory obligations for the operations concerned have been met. No further public forum is planned

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Note 2: DUST

Statements from the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) Review (2007).

475 5 Agency App. E “The main conclusion that can be drawn..is that dust drift can occur over a considerable distance off-site (at least 1 km)”

475 3 Agency App. E “Three aerial operations using cereal baits were monitored for dust drift in 1997 and 1998..The maximum deposition of 1080 falling in dust [from cereal bait] was 25.2 μg/m²..residues in dust inside all treatment areas were significantly greater than outside at day 1, but not at day 5”

477 1 Agency App. E “[1080 concentration in dust, μg/m², inside treatment area] Day 1 3.81 , Day 5 0.1..outside treatment area (day 1) 0.2 at 200m, 0.06 at 1 km”

475 6 Agency App. E “The Agency is not aware of any other studies reporting on dust drift from aerial application of 1080..there is insufficient information to know whether other bait types or delivery buckets would create more or less dust”

476 2 Agency App. E “Trace levels (of 1080) were found in 11 plant samples [after 1080 cereal operations at Whitecliffs and Titirangi]..the maximum measured was 0.014 mg/kg..on day 1..it is unknown whether the residues in plants resulted from dust deposition or uptake from the soil, the authors attributed them to dust.”

13 1 Submitter 9143 “Observation on the day of the poison operation showed that the fine particles and dust were blown across the forest canopy from the helicopter bait bucket” (Meads report)

3 2 Submitter 9143 “181 mm of rain fell in the second fortnight after the poison operation. Thus an influx of 1080 may have washed from the tree tops to the ground” (Meads Report)

Note 3: DUST CONTAMINATION

“The risk of drift of 1080 dust:

While the 1080 concentration found in the bait dust
was much greater inside than outside the treatment
areas, results were less clear for the soil, leaf litter,
and plant samples. In some of these cases, similar
concentrations of 1080 were found outside as inside
the treatment areas. These results indicate that bait
dust can drift outside the boundaries of a treated
area up to and possibly more than 1000 m. ”

https://www.researchgate.net/…/links/55f8853708ae07629dd826…

Note 4: SCOPING STUDY

Study by the Institute for Environmental Science and Research (ESR):

“Dust drift may potentially arise from aerial application of 1080. This is because physical abrasion from transport, loading and aerial application of 1080 bait can generate dust particles that could drift over loading zone and application zone boundaries. Some of these particles could deposit on food or crops, or in water tanks used for drinking water. Other particles may be sufficiently fine to travel significant distances and be inhaled by people.”

In the end, I am told by a researcher, the study “…. was flawed though. For example control sample got contaminated (again) and they ‘couldn’t get hold of the distilled water for the collection points’. Not sure why as distilled water is widely available isn’t it!?! ”

https://www.esr.cri.nz/…/FW15060-1080-dust-report-FINAL-web…

Photos of Luggate: Tracey Morrow

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