An Open Letter to all Members of the New Zealand Parliament

We call for an immediate halt to the planned aerial 1080 drops by Department of Conservation over Te Moengahau o Tametekapua and surrounding forests of Te Whai o te Ika, the Coromandel Peninsula.

DoC does not have the social licence to carry out this operation. According to their own research, an increasing majority of New Zealanders find "aerial poisoning unacceptable".  90% of New Zealanders support trapping, 89% support hunting as a means of pest control. ( IPSOS Survey 2016, p81-82)


Why is this important?

This is important because many local people believe that DoC is dismissing public resolutions and is sidestepping some Acts of Parliament.

The Department of Conservation has announced its intention to spread the manufactured poison 1080 over Te Moengahau o Tametekapua and surrounding forests of Te Whai o te Ika, the Coromandel Peninsula, during July to October 2017 (Hauraki Herald, 28 April).

Members of local hapu and local marae, landowners and local community groups, have not been consulted and have not been offered options for control. (1) For references, see the Footnotes below.

Trapping is the community's preferred method. (2) Trapping complies with the statutes. (3)

Many in our community challenge the poisoning of Coromandel forests. (4) DoC's own 2016 research shows that 61% of people find aerial dispersal of poisons unacceptable. Local people seek employment as trappers engaged to maintain biodiversity, as harvesters of possum fur and meat for local industry, as kaitiaki replanting berry-bearing trees and food forests.(5)

Bee keepers, practitioners of rongoa maori, pig hunters, possum fur and meat trappers, cannot garner a living from poisoned forests. (6)

Farmers and hunters have witnessed the prolonged suffering of poisoned animals.(7)

Local people feel they should have a right to safe food and water. Maori have a right to the guardianship of their taonga under the Treaty of Waitangi Act, 1975.  (8)

Aerial 1080 kills randomly and inhumanely.(9)
How many ruru, karearea, kahu, and tuna will die from eating poisoned carcasses? How many native frogs will die from 1080 pollution? How many streams will carry poisoned baits and poisoned carcasses into water supplies? Does the 1080 dust affect the health of the forest biota? DoC does not know the answers to these questions.(10)

Where there  is scientific uncertainty, caution must be exercised under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996. (11) We think that caution is being ignored by DoC when 1080 is dispersed aerially over forest ecosystems. 

Guardianship of taonga, guaranteed under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, has been ignored. 

The sentience of animals is recognised by the Animal Welfare Act 1999, but has been denied to animals classed as "pests". (12)

These are the reasons we are calling for a halt to the proposed 1080 drops this winter over Coromandel forests.

OIA request re lack of emergency response planning over storage of 23,700kg 1080 bait in the Whitianga CBD

February 24, 2018 Dear Penny Loomb, Thank you for your letter of 9th January 2018 saying you would forward my letter on to...