Tag Archives: Te Kuiti

Probe into eight 1080 Waikato cattle deaths in 2018 points to DOC breach

From rnz.co.nz

An investigation in an aerial drop of 1080 that killed eight cattle in the King Country in September 2018 has found that the Department of Conservation breached one of its operating procedures.

The DOC pest control operation was conducted over the 1400ha Mapara Wildlife Reserve, 35km southeast of Te Kuiti.

The livestock got into the area via an insecure fence – something the farm owners dispute – and ate the poison.

The inquiry by the Environmental Protection Authority found that DOC did not advise the cattle’s owners, Mark and Paula Stone, of a decision to exclude a pocket of bush that they had given consent to include in the operation.

The EPA said however that the breach wasn’t a factor in the cattle deaths.

The Stones’ property borders onto the DOC land.

The EPA is recommending a better consultation process for 1080 drops, including providing more clarity for operators and landowners and better mapping.

It wants DOC to provide better information about how 1080 behaves once spread in terms of bioaccumulation and biodegradation.

The EPA also wants improvements to information, particularly for farmers, regarding withholding-periods, caution periods, before cattle are allowed back.

In September 2019, the Stones were critical of the delay the investigation was taking and said they were thinking about taking legal action.

In the months before the 1080 operation, DOC gained permission from the Stones to extend its operation onto 65ha if bush on their land.

Two months after the incident, the EPA decided it was appropriate to independently investigate.



With an estimated 158 stock deaths pa in NZ, DoC’s proposed independent review of the Waikato 1080 drop that killed 8 cows is rare indeed

So … “the Department of Conservation (DOC) is taking the extraordinary step of getting an independent review of a 1080 operation in which cows were subsequently killed…” (tvnz)

“Extraordinary” alright. In the midst of the growing current NZ-wide distrust of the poison that’s constantly been touted as next to harmless, DoC appears to be in damage control mode as their 1080 edifice cracks & crumbles, making much here of the scenario that the cows allegedly broke through a fence to the 1080-treated adjacent area. Listen to the video however as this family are interviewed. A lot of questions remain unanswered. Scrambling to control the public perception of 1080 now with independent reviews to prove their credibility, yet killing 89 of NZ’s iconic treasured native Kiwi garnered not ONE test to see if any of them died of 1080 poisoning. Small wonder they are losing credibility. Then was their opportunity to prove to us all that the Kiwi did not die of 1080 poisoning but back then the public believed all the glossy brochures that told us only pests died from 1080.

One of the owners notes that they have not found one dead possum (one of those pests we’re told are ‘targeted’, a miracle given 1080 kills ALL oxygen breathing animals and organisms, including insects … it was developed initially as an insecticide) … and to state the obvious, this land could clearly have been covered by bait stations. Why was an aerial drop used? We are frequently told aerial drops are required for inaccessible areas. It is routinely applied however ‘near homes, farm boundaries, public highways and into rivers from which drinking water is drawn’. Many examples of this have been highlighted more recently as the issue has come under closer scrutiny.

The point here also is, this is not an isolated & rare incident. DoC’s investigation of such incidents however is. They should really order reviews on all of the other stock deaths that slipped under the radar, many on account of being hidden in the paperwork. Yes farmers are asked to declare their stock deaths (farmers who want compensation for those losses) as something other than stock deaths. Hear farmers interviewed on that at this link.

A working document summarizing significant poisoning events connected to aerial poisoning for pest control in NZ estimates the total numbers of deaths in farmed deer/cattle as being 3,408, estimated in 1976 to be approximately 158 per year. This would total approx. 10,000 since 1954. Actual recorded data is likely to be a small percentage of the whole total.

Dr Meriel Watts records the incident in the ’90s where 570 sheep were poisoned by 1080, with sheep still dying six months later.

Total numbers of dogs: could be as high as 6816 per year which equals 429,408 over 63 years of aerial poisoning operations.

Total numbers of human poisoning incidents: approx. 31 individuals (more pending)

Read the full information at this link.

Below is a link to tvnz’s article on the independent review.


STOP THE DROP!! BAN 1080!! (music video by Te Kuiti’s Brown Towns)

Published on Aug 19, 2018

STOP THE DROP by Brown Towns of Te Kuiti , Brother T, Brother A , Brother TK 1080 Awareness Demonstration Te Kuiti

NOTE: if any photo, video or other material is yours & I haven’t credited you please let me know. Likewise if you want it taken down. I figure by now though, most folk are eager to help in the spread of info on 1080 and don’t mind the re use of their images. Thanks.

Poison just lying around in the bush alarms overseas visitor – in same area the pig that poisoned the Putararu family came from

Thanks to Carol Sawyer & Australian visitor, Mark Slater for this compilation of facts about the apparent carelessness around the spread, storage & care of poison in our bush by NZ’s Department of Conservation. This article is about Pindone being left lying around, however the before & after storage & care of 1080 pellets after drops has also frequently been called into question by visitors, by locals who observe while hunting, tramping, trapping and so forth and by folk whose pets have been poisoned inadvertently. Watch carefully if you are tramping, hunting or just enjoying the scenery in NZ. What I find most disturbing is the number of comments I’m seeing on forums and feedback from tourists is that they don’t see many birds, just as Mark has commented here in this article. See our pages on suspected poisonings from such at the 1080 pages (main menu). (For other 1080 articles use the search box or ‘categories’ – left of news page). And if you have incidents where you’ve noticed this poison lying around, a lack of signage to warn the public, or if you’ve had your own farm animals or pets poisoned, record it and send it to me if you’d like it published. EnvirowatchRangitikei

“It should be pointed out that this is the area where the pig that poisoned the Putaruru family last year came from (see map). That was not Pindone poisoning, but almost certainly 1080 poisoning, but it shows how dangerous this Pureora Forest Park and our other wild places have become.”

Australian, Mark Slater, was in NZ last month hunting. He went on a hunting trip in Pureora Forest Park, with his son and three of his son’s Kiwi mates.

(Pureora Forest Park is in the North Island and straddles the Hauhungaroa and Rangitoto ranges west of Lake Taupo and east of Te Kuiti.)

I spoke to Mark today. He told me they were given permission to enter the Park through a farmer’s property and tramped for four and a half days, from one side to the other, where a vehicle was waiting to pick them up. They followed tracks with pink, yellow and green markers – see photo. All the tracks had names ( like Grassy Track, etc ).

Mark said ” The forest didn’t seem alive at all. I was last here three years ago and there were heaps of wood pigeons (Kereru) but this time I only saw two. We only saw 6 deer in four days.”

On Day 3 they came across two drums of Pindone Poison. They are 44 gallon drums (205 litres) and looked as though they had obviously been there for some time. One was standing up but the bottom was rusting out so it was leaking, and the one pictured, also rusting with the lid open, was lying on its side. The Pindone was in white hessian-look plastic but the bag was full of water. The poison was all wet and soggy. Mark said if the water is getting in, then there must be a hole in the bags, so it will be leaking out onto the ground.

He was quite shocked but he said the Kiwis were reasonably blasé about it. (We have become so used to the irresponsible behaviour of our Dept of Conservation !)

Mark says “I was more shocked that I was drinking the water downstream ! I thought hunters should know.”


Since I posted this, Roy Hollister has provided the attached photo ( taken 13/10/ 2016 ) of abandoned bait stations in Pureora Forest Park. I asked if any poison was still in them but he says there was no sign of poison residue in any of the traps – how slack, though, to leave piles like that lying around in the bush !
Roy says “I’d say looking at the leaf litter on top of them they had been there 5 or more years. They are next to the Kitemairangi Road which takes you up to the Kitemairangi loop track in Piropiro flats, South Pureora Forest Park. We witnessed the 1080 drop there a few years back The decline in bird life and morning chorus was outstanding. We were in the forest 3 months after the drop and still found baits on the ground.”
Roy adds ” The abandoned bait stations were still there as of April 11, 2018 “.


It should be pointed out that this is the area where the pig that poisoned the Putaruru family last year came from ( see map ). That was not Pindone poisoning, but almost certainly 1080 poisoning, but it shows how dangerous this Pureora Forest Park and our other wild places have become.

Photos (not in the documented order):

1 )DoC Pindone drum leaking into Pureora Forest Park – Photo Mark Slater
2 ) Pink marker in Pureora Forest Park – Photo Mark Slater
3 ) Map of Pureora Forest Park – Screenshot provided by Moo Scotting
4 ) Pile of bait stations left abandoned – Pureora Forest Park – Photo Roy Hollister, 13 October 2016 – the bait stations were still there as of April 11, 2018.
5 ) Bait still intact on ground three months after aerial 1080 poison drop, Pureora Forest Park – Photo Roy Hollister, 13 October, 2016
6 ) Deer carcass, Pureora Forest Park – Photo Roy Hollister, 13 October, 2016 ( Roy says ” We found lots of deer like this.)