Tag Archives: Marlborough

DoC raining down 1080 pellets on people and waterways – in spite of safety assurances

Here are two articles by Carol Sawyer reporting on DoC bungles that involved health risks to people, in spite of the Department’s assurances of safety. In spite also of the results reported health-wise, still the Department continues to drop the deadly poison by the tonne, every year, like a ‘veritable lolly scramble’ as one expert in the field has described it. These mishaps are not rare isolated incidents either. EWR
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By Carol Sawyer

Further to this post, I received this message in 2017 from the late Lloyd Hanson, to post on my page :

“John Sinclair the Investigator was one of the original owners of Marlborough Helicopters and I believe sold out to Owen Dodson, who conducted this operation. I am not saying that Mr Sinclair’s summation was incorrect but surely considering his conflict of Interest it would seem prudent to declare this and step away – NOT SO!

I went in to the scene of the bucket loss a few days later and observed dozens of broken 1080 pellets amongst the smashed foliage – a poor cleanup !”

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I do note that both the pilots received aviation safety awards, four years prior to this dropped bucket episode :

https://www.stuff.co.nz/…/Safety-key-to-chopper-firm…

I did this post at the time too:
https://www.facebook.com/carol.sawyer.3511/posts/1723060241307628

Fiona Stonehouse, one of the trampers who was rained on with 1080 poison by pilot Simon Moar, commented on the article:

“What the article does not say is that we were assured by a DoC worker that we would be fine walking the track that day before we even started the tramp. There was supposed to be a buffer zone of 20metres on both sides of the track which was a condition of our withdrawing our legal opposition submission. We went through the lengthy and time consuming legal process and made terms that we had no alternative but to accept and DoC failed to deliver to those agreed terms because of the bucket malfunction and their decision to continue with the drop despite the fact that they knew they could not comply with the terms of the agreement. It makes no difference what our political opinions on the subject are, we were told we would be safe and that we were allowed to be there and it turned out that we weren’t safe. No body is around this poison and that is what the knuckle heads who use and endorse 1080 fail to acknowledge,”

and when asked why she didn’t find a lawyer she wrote:

“We did find a lawyer who isn’t afraid to take on the government but she costs money and we have been opposing this bs for a long time now.

“Later she wrote:

” Elliot (Graeme Elliott, Principal Advisory Scientist, Dept of Conservation) admitted that our 2013 drop was an experiment at our hearing; there was a control area not being dropped on and Mt Stanley, which was aerially dusted with 1080. We haven’t seen the data from those experiments despite an initial request for them. How dare they experiment with deadly poisons on such a massive scale on a publicly accessible reserve ! We were also assured that 1080 would not be dropped in the waterways because they had a new trick(le) feeder that could accurately direct the flow of the pellets and the gps accuracy would keep the pellets out of the waterways. Well that was a farce from start to finish. Not only did they make sure 1080 was in every waterway but they also dusted people with 1080 – they had a malfunction with a clip holding the bucket on and dropped a bucket of 1080, people were injured and public were dusted with 1080 because of DoC’s ineptitude, and now while we are trying to get some acknowledgement of what went on nobody wants to know. Civil Aviation who should investigate all traffic accidents don’t want to know, the Medical Officer doesn’t want to know and I think DoC are hoping we will just quietly go away. Some of our group have relocated overseas because they became so disheartened with the bullshit but they weren’t natives to start with.”

Fiona’s parents, Doug and Phemie Stonehouse, were waiting in their boat for their daughter and her friends to finish walking the Nydia Bay Track. One of these helicopters flew straight towards and over them. They tried to duck under cover in the boat but say they were sprayed with dust. They have suffered ill health since.

I was reminded of this just the other day when I read a new article (Greymouth Star, 14 November, 2020) entitled ‘1080 Dust Tests “Inconclusive” ‘, which is about ESR’s experiments to see if 1080 dust travels 🤪. It mentions the two women picnicking near Greymouth, who were showered with 1080 fragments, and the article concluded with this short paragraph:

“Retired fisherman Doug Stonehouse also claimed he and his wife have suffered ill health after they were accidentally caught in dust from an aerial 1080 operation in the Marlborough Sounds.”

RELATED: THREE years on, two women alleging 1080 poisoning while picnicking STILL waiting for answers from NZ Health

Photo : The barge in Tennyson Inlet, with 1080 poison being loaded into the hopper. 2 November, 2013


Carol Sawyer
March 7

FIRST A 1080 POISON BUCKET IS DROPPED, AND NEXT PELLETS ARE RAINED ON TRAMPERS, IN A ‘MARLBOROUGH HELICOPTERS LTD’ DOUBLE-WHAMMY COCKUP!

This bungled 1080 drop on Mt Stanley/ Tennyson Inlet, Marlborough Sounds on 2 November 2013, may only be six and a half years ago, but how many people know about it ?

Story here : http://www.stuff.co.nz/…/Trampers-want-apology-after…

I was sent two reports in the post that give a bit more background.

1 )”Investigation into uncommanded bucket release” by John Sinclair, NZ AAA and NZ Helicopter Assn, Occurrence Investigator

2 ) “Notes on Aerial 1080 drop 2/11/2013, Mt Stanley, Tennyson Inlet” by Phil Clerke, senior biodiversity ranger, Dept of Conservation, Picton.

These two reports make for fascinating reading.

This drop was conducted by Marlborough Heliopters Ltd for the Dept of Conservation. Two pilots were involved, Owen Dodson and Simon Moar, flying two Bell Jetrangers, ZK-HJI and ZK-HZE. The senior of the two pilots, Dodson, was a director of the helicopter company. Simon Moar was completing only his second poison drop, “but he had considerable experience in other aerial agricultural operations and is a competent pilot with sufficient experience to undertake poison drops”, Occurrence Investigator, John Sinclair said.

According to the report by DoC’s Phil Clerke, Owen Dodson left the barge to commence his baiting, but arrived back “somewhat shaken” and minus his bucket. He had ” visibly received an impact above the eye ( I was later to learn it was from the breaking airline leading to the bucket ). I was unsure of the exact details but picked up that the bucket’s airline then struck the rotors as well. I later learned that (Owen Dodson) also lost partial sight in this eye.

“This report differs slightly from the Occurrence Investigator, John Sinclair’s, report which says ” …….Owen Dodson was carrying out a trickle feed of sensitive boundaries when the bucket and its load of 1080 suffered an uncommanded release from the helicopter. In the departure sequence a pneumatic control line severed and flicked up cutting the pilot’s eye”. Also the “pneumatic control line had connected with the OAT and cracked the windscreen”.

Despite this injury, Dodson flew himself to Blenheim and came back in an R22 with a long lifting chain, after which Moar went off ( with the chain presumably ) to recover the dropped bucket ! Once this was done, Dodson returned to Blenheim in the R22.

John Sinclair’s report has a great deal of detail about the bucket release, But he says ” I believe that the most likely cause of the uncommanded release of the cargo hook was the helicopter’s manual cargo hook release being activated, then not properly returned to the safe position before it was next used” ( Human error, in other words ).

Because of all this dropped bucket palavah, this meant that the less experienced pilot, Simon Moar, had to complete the sensitive boundaries – instead of now-injured Owen Dodson, who had been the one supposed to be doing it, being the more experienced pilot. John Sinclair’s report reads : ” In the course of doing this (Simon Moar) misjudged conditions and allowed the wind to carry a small amount of bait onto the Nydia Bay Track. (Moar was under considerable pressure because of the need to do another drop the next day in Golden Bay. While DoC had offered to postpone the operation there would be the logistics of barging all the bait back to Picton if the operation was curtailed. These pressures may have impacted on his subconscious, especially given that the weather windows this spring have been very few and far between.”

The bait falling “onto the Nydia Bay Track” unfortunately appears to have fallen on the trampers mentioned in the article below. In the Occurrence Investigator, John Sinclair’s, report he just refers to it thus: “The dropping of the bucket did however impact on an adverse environmental effect later in the day”. ( The adverse environmental effect presumably being dropping 1080 pellets on trampers.) In the DoC report, Phil Clerke says a DoC worker, Wendy, “radioed in to pass on that she had met trampers that claimed they were rained on, on the track, at the saddle”.

The trampers, incidentally, knew of the 1080 drop but had been told the track itself was SAFE as it had an exclusion zone of 20 metres.

Some questions I have are these :

1 ) Why did Owen Dodson fly a helicopter back to Blenheim and collect another one, when it had a cracked windscreen and he had a cut on his eye ! Not only that but he returned with another helicopter !

2 ) Why was a pilot who had only done one 1080 drop before, allowed to fly the sensitive boundaries, when as well as this the wind had got up – Phil Clerke says ” the wind was noted to increase in velocity, (Simon Moar) and I had a discussion about this. It was still considered workable.” So pellets land on trampers !

3 ) This question should be asked of DoC : Why on earth was 1080 poison loaded onto helicopters off a barge in pristine Tennyson Inlet ? The DoC report says ” A vacuum cleaner, dust brushes/ pans were to be used with the initial barge clean up to reduce wash down contamination. Wash down would only be used when no further bait fragments could be recovered.” ( Meaning 1080 dust would be washed into Tennyson Inlet, presumably ! )

Postscript:

John Sinclair used to own Marlborough Helicopters Ltd, by the way. Oh, and Marlborough Helicopters Ltd got a safety award !!!! 🤣

http://www.stuff.co.nz/…/Safety-key-to-chopper-firm…
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COMMENT AT FB:

Tony Orman The Tennyson Inlet drop was a shambles. Toxic carcasses floating in the tide. No animal problem until DOC interfered. All it achieved was a rat population explosion followed by a stoat boom in numbers as proven by research, e.g Ruscoe 2007. And disruption of the ecosystem’s food chain. What is it that these fools in DOC who were responsible, don’t understand?”

RELATED: The Possible Health Risks of 1080 Exposure: Two NZ Women blame a 1080 drop for their lingering illness

Nydia Track Trampers hit by falling 1080 pellets



OSPRI finally admits it killed 92% of Molesworth Stn’s deer in 2017 with 1080 poison intended for possums (an estimated 4,000 deer)

Molesworth Station in the South Island, is a publicly owned park managed by NZ’s Department of Conservation…

“…up to 4,000 deer were killed in that one 1080 operation!! …

IT SHOULD BE REMEMBERED THAT THIS AERIAL POISON OPERATION WAS TO KILL POSSUMS – NOT DEER !

It should also be remembered that pigs, goats, and birds were killed in unknown numbers at Molesworth as well. Insects feeding on poisoned carcasses are killed. Birds are killed when they feed on carcasses ( hawks, falcons ), on poisoned insects, (owls and the smaller insectivores) or on the baits themselves.”

 

By Carol Sawyer

Eight helicopters dropped toxic 1080 bait at 2kg/ha on a 61,200ha area in late October, 2017. This iconic high-country station is owned by the people of New Zealand and is a recreation reserve managed by the Department of Conservation.

Molesworth Station is a massive 180,787 ha and a further two aerial 1080 drops (ca. 60,000 ha each) were planned. These were deferred “after the initial possum control operation [in] 2017 killed more deer than expected” an Ospri spokesman told the NZ Herald, 17 August, 2018

A hunters’ survey at the time, of approx. 10% of the 61,200 ha poisoned area, reported 345 dead deer – whole family groups. As it was Spring (late October) there will have been fawns left to starve.

http://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/whats-up-doc-3-deer-k…/…

The Marlborough branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association then commissioned a survey of the whole area aerially 1080 poisoned, “to assess the amount of collateral damage done by 1080 poison” and to “inform the public debate”. They hired helicopters “to methodically sweep 60,000 hectares of the country’s largest high-country farm, Molesworth Station, counting the number of by-kill deer after the toxic poison drop.”

The survey and its results have never appeared.

On Feb 14, 2019, it was announced that the results of the survey, together with a report by Lincoln University PHD student Kaylyn Pinney would be released to the public “within a month”.

Here we are, March 22, 2019, and the report has still not been made public. It is now nearly 18 months since the aerial 1080 poison drop.

HOWEVER – last night, March 21, 2019, there was a meeting of the Upper Clutha branch of the NZ Deerstalkers’ Assn held in Wanaka. Approximately 25 people attended. A representative from OSPRI, Jennifer Lawn, was in attendance to talk about their TBfree programme, and in particular the results of their aerial 1080 poisoning of the Timaru Creek area, Lake Hawea, 20 June, 2018.

Lawn (OSPRI Operations Extension), when giving figures on how many deer are killed by 1080 poison, volunteered the information that 92% of the total deer population on Molesworth Station were killed by the October, 2017 poison drop. (Joel Lund was in attendance and he wrote this appalling figure down.) (1)

If 345 deer were killed in 10% of the station originally surveyed, and the kill rate is 92%, that means that presumably up to 4,000 deer were killed in that one 1080 operation!! No wonder OSPRI “deferred” the remaining two thirds of Molesworth Station.

IT SHOULD BE REMEMBERED THAT THIS POISON OPERATION WAS TO KILL POSSUMS – NOT DEER !

It should also be remembered that pigs, goats, and birds were killed in unknown numbers at Molesworth as well. Insects feeding on poisoned carcasses are killed. Birds are killed when they feed on carcasses ( hawks, falcons ), on poisoned insects, (owls and the smaller insectivores) or on the baits themselves.

(1) James Knapp, who was Health and Safety Manager for OSPRI at the time of this 1080 drop confirmed today that he considered the 92% figure to be correct.

(2) “An admission by the old AHB after a local poison op in 2002 admitted that 85% of the deer in the drop zone would have been poisoned. That admission came only after we persisted in hassling them after we found 18 dead deer.” – Lew Hore, Oamaru

(3) This deer and fawn are not from Molesworth, as NO information has been allowed into the public domain from the Molesworth 1080 drop. The photo is to help illustrate what happened, that’s all.

Header Photo: Screen shot from Taupo 1080 Drop, CGNZ

Poster below – by James Smith

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RELATED:

A farmer who lost 570 ewes following an accidental 1080 drop on his farm said that 6 months later sheep were still dying

1080 drop at Molesworth Stn NZ kills 345 NZ deer … dubbed “utterly inhumane” by a US University Professor

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

WHO IS REALLY DRIVING PEST FREE NZ (PFNZ) – WHAT YOU AREN’T BEING TOLD

THE STOCK DEATHS FROM 1080 POISON & HOW DOC IS HIDING THEM IN THE PAPER WORK – STILL TRUST THEM?


 

If you are new to NZ’s 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 to make your own informed decision on this matter.

If you are pro poisoning of the environment, EnvirowatchRangitikei is not the place to espouse your opinions. Mainstream would be the place to air those. This is a venue for sharing the independent science you won’t of course find there.

 

1080 drop at Molesworth Stn NZ kills 345 NZ deer … dubbed “utterly inhumane” by a US University Professor

From the No to 1080 use in NZ Facebook page. Read the details of NZ’s Molesworth Station drop in mainstream media below. If we the public treated our animals in this way, we would be convicted of cruelty to animals. Not DoC. They kill non target animals with impunity. Three hundred and forty five deer is a lot of animals. This is happening also to sheep, cattle, horses, our native birds and pet animals, while DoC tells us it targets pests. Dying from 1080 poisoning has been likened by a Vet to two days of being electrocuted. 

The poster below has been circulated by Professor Marc Bekoff of Colorado University with the following comment:

“This is utterly inhumane and simply wrong — every welfare and conservation organization should openly oppose this slaughter” … Marc Bekoff, Prof of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, U.S.A.

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Poster:  James Smith

Deer deaths investigated by New Zealand Deerstalkers Association

stuff.co.nz

Hunters have paid for scientists to fly over the site of a 1080 drop, thought to be behind hundreds of dead deer, to count carcasses.

The toxic bait was dropped over a third of Molesworth Station, the country’s largest farm, by helicopter in October as part of a national possum control operation.

The Marlborough branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association then hired two helicopters to methodically sweep the area, having planned the survey in advance.

READ MORE

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/99513243/deer-deaths-investigated-by-new-zealand-deerstalkers-association

 

Anger after 1080 drop kills red deer at Molesworth Station

nzherald.co.nz

Hundreds of carcasses reported after Molesworth drop to fight tuberculosis.

A 1080 poison operation targeting possum on New Zealand’s largest farm has angered hunters who fear it’s needlessly killed hundreds of red deer.

Deer hunters have self-funded an aerial survey in the last few weeks to count just how many of the local red deer population have been killed after a 1080 drop in late-October by TBFree NZ to control possums on the historic 180,000-hectare Molesworth Station.

While the Marlborough branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association (NZDA) says the data is still being collated, with a final report still a month away, online hunting forums suggest as many as 345 red deer have been spotted lying dead on the land.

“There were certainly dead deer seen,” said Wayne Smith, NZDA Marlborough branch committee member, “and, from observations, not as many live deer running around the hills as we would’ve expected.”

READ MORE

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11951166

 

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Hawke’s Bay Today editorial