1080 opponents have pesky facts on their side

Bill Wallace, leader of the Ban 1080 political party, who made a submission, said the consultation process was a farce.

“They tell you what they’re going to do, there’s never been consultation.

“We’ve been using it for 64 years and not a single native bird has actually increased in numbers in that 64 years – in fact we should call it streamlining the extinction of kea,” he said.

Mr Wallace said 1080 was a cop-out approach to conservation and self-setting traps would do a better job.

He was also uneasy about the lack of independent oversight when it came to discussions about 1080.

The problem is that for the majority of our rugged landscapes, 1080 is the best worst tool we have. ?But as we’ve seen, claims that it only kills target species is… specious. ?

Spokesperson Mary Malloy, a South Westland dairy farmer, was worried the public would not be notified when a 1080 drop was happening.

She thought it would be unlikely that communities near drop sights would get much say in applications to use 1080.

“There will be no public input, there will be no questioning whether it’s advisable to do any controls or not.

“It’s really quite a frightening state for New Zealand to be in.”

Ms Malloy said drops were already happening too close to farmland on the West Coast and during the tourist season.

But the Minister for the Environment, Nick Smith, backed the use of 1080 to control pests.

He was confident the new rules were safe and would help speed up the process of applying to drop 1080.

“The national rules are very tight, they ensure that the risks are properly managed from both a safety and environmental point of view.

“There’s a notion of having every one of our councils having arguments about whether they can use 1080 or not doesn’t actually help anybody,” said Dr Smith.

Oh, so that’s why every council was told to figure out what to do for Easter trading? ?For fluoridation of the water supply? ?Perhaps some councils dropping a shit-ton of 1080 on scrub are making different decisions to those who have millions of hectares of heritage parks to look after?

Politically speaking, this is a sleeping dog that should have been left to lie in an election year. ?National continue to try and out-green other parties, but continue to come against huge opposition from everyone else. ?It would also make sense to take the Nick Smith factor out of it, but then Bill does do loyalty to his friends at the cost of everyone else.