Tag Archives: Raukumara Forest Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…then DoC went ahead & dropped the poison anyway. 

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

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

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

Reihana Robinson Maori and Business as Usual

Here is a link to the Herald article:

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


* How to politely disrupt the Delphi technique.

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