Tag Archives: clean and green

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 (scoop.co.nz):

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.” “
The Graf Boys

Clyde Graf
After finding it difficult to get help, from what they believe is 1080 poisoning, the owners of an iconic tourist business based on the west coast of the South Island have established a free-call number – 0800 BAN 1080 (0800 226 1080) – for people to share their experiences after aerial 1080 operations.

The concern about 1080 poisoning is not a new phenomenon. While filming on the West Coast in 2002, a British film crew led by Terry Brownbill, stated New Zealand’s use of 1080 poison “was a sinister tale of corruption and bureaucratic indifference.”

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.”

However, the Agriculture Minister at the time, Jim Sutton, said the “1080 documentary maker should put up or shut up,” and disputed the British journalist’s claims, inferring that “the risk of 1080 residues entering the food supply is very low.”

History shows that Mr Brownbill’s claims do have credibility. Hundreds of farm animals – including sheep, dry stock, cows, horses, and deer – have been poisoned in aerial operations across the country, since the British film crew left New Zealand. It would seem improbable that all of these animals had received a lethal dose, without any of their surviving paddock companions, not receiving sub-lethal doses. (Only about one animal is tested for 1080 residues in every 2 months, and is randomly chosen from anywhere in New Zealand. So the chances of actually striking an animal from where a drop has taken place within a few days of testing, is consequently, very low.)

There are plenty of cases of farm animal deaths following aerial poisoning operations, from Northland to Southland.

In one case, it was reported in the Wairarapa Times Age that 9 dairy cows were poisoned by 1080.
The processing plant spokesperson stated that “at the end of the day if contamination is suspected we’d like to hear about it”. The milk from the cows was subsequently processed into milk powder before the farmer had warned the processing plant that his cows had been poisoned.

In the documentary Poisoning Paradise, Taupo (Western Bays) farmer Lance Aldridge states that his neighbor had over 150 sheep poisoned in one operation, and that in other drops he has had deer and cattle poisoned, with test results showing 1080 residues in carcasses as much as 12 months after the poisoning operation took place. He states that he believes the animals were either poisoned by the 1080 remaining in the fields where the animals were grazing, or from streams feeding the farm, following another drop over 5 kilometres away.

The creators of the free-call number believe there is mis-trust and fear among communities, of not being taken seriously when contacting the authorities, especially when those they are encouraged to engage with are the very departments dropping the poisons.

In 2008 midwives from Karamea, also on the West Coast, warned several pregnant ladies to leave the district while an aerial 1080 drop was being conducted. The response to their warnings from authorities was astonishing and swift. The mid-wives were humiliated publicly. Not surprisingly, another drop is planned for the Karamea region this year.

In December 2008, the Ministry of Health published a statement including the following paragraphs:
“Studies show that 1080 can cause foetal skeletal malformation, cardiomyopathy/damage to heart muscle, and testicular effects/reduction in sperm count in animals.”

“To date, there are no known epidemiological studies that have been carried out in relation to 1080 and potential adverse health effects on humans.”
It’s not just health concerns that the 0800 number is setup for.
Many people, all across New Zealand have had their pets and live stock poisoned. “We’d like to hear from them too,” stated the 0800 free-call trust’s spokesperson.

The inconvenience and investigations that follow placing a complaint, discourage victims.To make a claim, and have that claim registered, and officially recorded, is a long and complex process. Hence the recent claim by the PCE that only 8 dogs have died from 1080 poison in the last 4 years. This is inaccurate.
One Taupo farmer alone has had 8 of his working dogs die after poisoning operations around the farm he manages. The killings are endless, right across our country.
Do the people of New Zealand have reason to be concerned? Yes they do.
Should the people of New Zealand rely on government departments, government organisations and industry supporters to provide them with robust research, and consumer confidence – when the pest control company that imports 1080 poison and produces the 1080 bait, is owned by our government, and when the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Agriculture represent 50% shareholdings in the company that imports the poison? No, they shouldn’t!
“If you have been a victim of 1080 poisoning, or you know of someone that has, please phone 0800 BAN 1080, and talk about it. If you believe you’ve been poisoned, you’ve had stock poisoned, your water-supply poisoned, or your pet poisoned – even if it’s historical – please call and let us know. It’s free, it’s independent, and it’s confidential. It’s time to start a credible record of the impact of poisoning operations.” Said Clyde Graf.

And one last thing – take advantage of the opportunity to watch Poisoning Paradise free, at the Green Unplugged Film Festival, and please spread this 0800 free-call phone number to your friends and family. The destructive use of 1080 poison can only be stopped, with your help.

ENDS.

SOURCE

Clean & Green? The toxic 1080 cover up by the NZ Government

Published on Nov 14, 2011

New Zealand drops into its forests about 4,000kg of pure 1080 per year. Enough to kill 20 million people. How Can we call ourselves clean and green with thousands of tons of poison dropped into our forests. We need your world wide help to stop this obscene practice. The international community needs to get involved and say “stop this insanity!
A must watch if you are not familiar with 1080 poison is the GrafBoys’ 4x international award winning doco ‘Poisoning Paradise’. You can find links to it on our 1080 page at the main menu.

Tributaries that flow into the Blue Pools & Lake Wanaka poisoned with 1080 – no signs out & horrified tourists oblivious to risks of swimming & ingesting the water

POISONING THE TOURISTS

By Carol Sawyer  23 February 2017

We did a great job of poisoning the tourists yesterday. The NZ Department of Conservation and HeliOtago are to be commended! ( Don’t get upset – I am being ironic)

At Makarora, Mt Aspiring National Park, an area of unsurpassed beauty on the eastern side of the Southern Alps, yesterday, 23 February, 2017, HeliOtago dropped 76 tonnes of one of the world’s deadliest poisons, Compound 1080, in a DoC “Battle for Our Birds” operation. 1080 has no antidote.

The Blue Pools Walk is a short walk accessed from the main highway, State Highway 6, and is extraordinarily popular with tourists who want a break and a cool bush-walk after driving over the Haast Pass from South Westland. They also often want a swim on a hot day, and I am told tour-bus drivers encourage them to swim and to jump off the bridge at the Blue Pools. Link: https://www.lakewanaka.co.nz/explore/blue-pools-track

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Loading zone for the 1080 operation on the (23rd Feb 2017)  Makarora, Mt Aspiring, National Park, NZ. HeliOtago is the helicopter contractor    Photo: Carol Sawyer

The loadout zone at Cameron Flat is seven minutes up the road from the little village of Makarora.

“Yesterday morning the river directly above the Blue Pools was poisoned, along with the rest of the area – Makarora, Wilkin, Young, Blue Valleys, and all the streams that flow into the Makarora River and also end up in Lake Wanaka.”

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1080 is a broad-spectrum poison: it kills all oxygen-breathing animals and organisms

By 10.00 am two security officers had cleared the track to the Blue Pools. One had no gloves on, so she just kicked the baits to the side of the track. The other had gloves so he picked them up and tossed them into the undergrowth. It wasn’t much of an effort. One tourist told me he had seen two baits on the track and another showed me film of baits at the side of the track.

“1080 is a broad-spectrum poison: it kills all oxygen-breathing animals and organisms. This alone is reason enough to cease dispersing it into the environment. It indiscriminately kills and contaminates everything from the insects that underpin the native fauna food chain to precious native birds, dogs and farm animals.”
Dr Meriel Watts

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Helicopter run directly over the edge of the bush and the Makarora River, Sth Island NZ Photo : Peter Hartley

A Makarora local, who was on the track at the time they were dropping the 1080 poison yesterday morning, told me the helicopter that went over his head zig-zagged above the Blue Pools, dropping 1080 poison, and the baits went into the water directly above the Blue Pools. The chopper also went along the edge of the Makarora River, along the bushline, dropping 1080 baits so they were flung out into the Makarora River too. None of the streams had designated buffer zones and so they were poisoned directly, BUT the Wilkin, Young and Makarora Rivers were supposed to have buffer zones. Therefore at least one, the designated bait-free zone around the Makarora River, was poisoned, even if unintentionally.

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The carpark at the Blue Pools walk, Makarora, NZ, 23 Feb 2017 where the 1080 drop occurred … tourists undeterred. Bait was clearly visible with minimal effort to make it safe. To a child it would have looked like a lolly scramble it was said.  Photo: Carol Sawyer

I spent most of yesterday afternoon at the entrance to the Blue Pools track. So did Shane Wilson and his father Ron. There was a constant stream of tourists. As they went in and as they came out we asked them if they knew about 1080 poison, and when the inevitable “No” was the reply, we handed them an explanatory ( and completely factual, and non-emotive ) flier, and then answered their many questions.

They were stunned – seriously ! There were no signs saying the poison had been dropped that morning. They didn’t understand that it was an aerial drop. They didn’t know what all the helicopters were doing.( There were seven helicopters swinging buckets and it sounded at times like I imagine the Vietnam War must have sounded ). They asked me : Is there a fire ? Are they mining ? Are they building something in the forest ?

One man, in appalled disbelief, came up to me and asked if he could show me film he had taken of a helicopter ” so close to people !” He had a young child on his shoulders. The helicopter was a speck on a ridge and THAT shocked him ? Those choppers had been swinging out so much closer to people than he had witnessed !

One young Swedish man was extremely distressed. He had swum in the water and was very upset when he found out about the poison. I said “Look you will be fine. You swam in it. You didn’t drink it”. Then he said he had been drinking it !

So had his girlfriend – from the Czech Republic.

I spoke to Indians, Brazilians, French, Germans, Scandinavians, Czechs, Danes, Dutch, most of whom understood English, or at least one of their number did and translated for the others, English, Americans, Australians, Canadians. ( Not, however, the Chinese. Malaysians, etc – I tried to talk to them but most didn’t speak English and went away as happily oblivious to poison as when they arrived !)

It was quite a business explaining why the government was dropping 1080 poison and why it was totally unnecessary but – when you tell people we drop 90% of the world’s supply and that it is killing EVERYTHING, not just the species they want to eradicate, and that stoats are not interested in 1080 baits ( when speaking to tourists ‘weasel’ seems to be an understood word, but ‘stoats’ not – so if you say ‘an animal like a weasel’, they mostly understand ), and that it is banned in many parts of the world, and that it is poisoning our land and we can no longer eat our wild food and that we have been dropping it for over 60 years and that we have had rats for 700 years and stoats for 150 and, and, and…..

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Shane Wilson‘s ‘1080 drum’ with a roadkill possum doe that he came across en route, on top – beautiful fur, freshly killed, and undamaged – a drawcard for curious tourists. I couldn’t stop stroking her. She was all warm in the sun. She had a lucky escape ! She wouldn’t have known a thing, not like the poor possies dying in Makarora in agony right now ! Photo: Carol Sawyer

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Shane Wilson’s Dad, Ron ( they had driven four hours from Otautau to be there, setting off at 1.30 am ), and Ray Thompson, ( who had driven for three hours from from Whataroa ). Some anti-1080 people show total passion and dedication.  Photo: Carol Sawyer

What surprised me was the intense interest. I was watchful for glazed-over eyes and polite departures but no… the questions poured in and so many people said ” What can we do to help ?!!” An Englishman, who sounded a bit like Prince Charles, was looking at the loadout zone and he said to me ” I hate this sort of thing ! ”

When I was asked how they could help, I said to people: “Take photos of those helicopters. Explain to your friends on social media. Write letters to major NZ newspapers, stating your shock and upset and disbelief at seeing what is happening in a land you regarded as clean and green and 100% pure. Don’t write to the NZ government – the letter will end up in the bin. A letter to a newspaper, from an international visitor”, I said, “is worth more than 100 letters from New Zealanders”

So many said ” But we thought you were clean, green… “

I told them about the film “Poisoning Paradise”. I told them to look it up on Google. I said it had won four international film festival awards and it has not been allowed to be shown on National TV in NZ.

I told them to go to the websites and Facebook pages on the flier I gave them.

I know some of them will – they were truly SHOCKED !

What is the matter with you, Maggie Barry and the Dept of Conservation? How dare you drop 1080 poison in our rivers and not tell tourists NOT to drink the water – only one hour later !!!!!!! NO signs, NO staff, NO care !

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 “Animal Control Products” ( recently given the more obscure name “Orillion” ), the NZ state-owned factory, has a 1080 warning label which states ” Avoid pollution of any water supply with pellets” and states that the pellets are harmful to aquatic organisms.

PHOTOS by Carol Sawyer & Peter Hartley

SOURCE