Envirologue by Dave Hansford

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Envirologue: 1080, "eco-terrorism" and agendas

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  • Steve Barnes, in reply to tussock,

    Which depends on how much of those accompanying tax cuts shift overseas

    Not just those tax cuts but all imports, overseas investors repatriating profits, re-insurance. All those things effectively mean borrowing to support "Unsustainable Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" maybe there's a TV show in that.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    lobby groups keep rolling Trojan horses up to the doors of the newspapers, ramshackle constructions of tin foil and tape dressed to look like science, but packed tight inside with self-interest and agendas.

    Just wanted to compliment you on this phrase and notify you that I fully intend to steal it.

    So many issues where this phrase is totally appropriate. Which wouldn't really matter except in many cases these lobby groups cause real harm. In this case it's in the fight to protect our native (stupid ground dwelling) birds from introduced mammals.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Hansford,

    Thanks Bart: you're very welcome to plagiarise, if it gets the notion out there...

    Nelson • Since Apr 2008 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    I pretty much disagree with Josie Pagani's take on this episode. I'm not usually one to give this government much credit for anything, but I don't really see them as the main villains of this particular piece as she seems to.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The pest control company that was contracted to trap and poison opossums in our area, at great expence, have just removed all traps and potasium cyanide bait stations from our back yard. They are currently working there way down the road.

    It’s been an interesting process. The funding is coming from farming interests, wanting to reduce the bovine tuberculosis threat to the dairy industry.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • wahooman,

    Can't let this blog pass without making comment. I am one of those people, derisively dismissed throughout as Looney extreme left greenies that detest 1080. Unlike the writer I have, as an ex-DoC and NZ Forest Service employee, had a lot of first hand experience with this particularly cruel poison.
    I have watched animals die from it, I have participated in research projects on it, and lived in forest that's been subject to 1080 drops, for many years. It's an arrogant and shocking way to treat Nature. It's continued use, symbolises the level of ignorance we have for the ecosystems we are dependant on. The mindset that espouses chemical warfare ( Battle of the Birds?)against natural systems originated in the trenches of WW1. The chemicals used and the method of application may have differed, but the thinking persists: that poisoning is a good thing to do.

    As a landcares scientist said: 1080 travels easily through food chains. When you see a dead deer that's covered in dead maggots you see the reality of that statement. Or watch a dog slowly die, that has eaten rotten meat, months after the poison is laid.
    This is the reality of what we are visiting on our back country, and this year, more than ever before is going to be applied. It's actually some form of insane behaviour.
    It's a big business though worth millions, and big business is always insane. The Government holds all the cards. It owns the poison pellet factory, the scientists that study it are all employed by the government and government agencies ensure that the appropriate propaganda is put out. Speak out and you are looking for new employment. It's a simple rule.
    I come from a small village in Te Urewera. Fortunately tuhoe will never allow it in their park, but neighbouring Whirinaki is to be done again. Despite the fact that local young men have been usefully employed trapping stoats and possums, the first of 3 1080 drops over 6 years is going ahead. Contracts have been cancelled in preparation. There has been, and will not be, any meetings with Minginui people to explain what is going on.
    So while I don't condone the milk powder threat, which apparently used a grade of 1080 powder only available to a few in the industry, I can sympathise with the frustration behind it.
    We cannot continue to poison Nature in this way and not expect some effects on ourselves. Everything is connected ( science tells us this) and every toxin has its price. DDT, Agent Orange et al, and now the supposedly innocuous Round-up have had their day.
    Our whole thinking on this matter has gone down a dead end road. It's a sad situation.
    For people who applaud the use of 1080, I suggest you go and visit, and talk , with people who live near the forests where it's used. You won't find many supporters , if any at all
    I liken, the use of 1080 on our forests, to the pouring of acid on music. It's an extremely cruel and criminal act.
    Stop the drop.

    wellington • Since Aug 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Police executed search warrants in Auckland and Rangitikei District this morning. A 60-year-old businessman has been arrested and charged with two counts of criminal blackmail. He'll appear in Manukau District Court this afternoon.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1381 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    "The New Zealand Police periscope account."
    Heh.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    I see according to the charge sheet, the businessman charged (who John Key putatively labelled an eco-terrorist at the time of the threats) had a financial motivation.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Key might recognise a fellow traveller.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to David Hood,

    had a financial motivation

    what a prick

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Sacha,

    what a prick

    I'm holding fire on snap judgments on this one.

    Doesn't quite add up somehow.

    No mention of $$$ when the story broke earlier in the year....

    I wonder why the name suppression?

    Unless....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to David Hood,

    I see according to the charge sheet, the businessman charged (who John Key putatively labelled an eco-terrorist at the time of the threats) had a financial motivation.

    There are echoes of the Rodney Whitchelo case in Britain in the late 1980s. The guy thought his Scotland Yard expertise would make for a get-rich-quick scheme... and was proven wrong.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    I don’t totally get it either, but it might be a reference to the claim that he developed an alternative poison for possum control. Perhaps he had some insane plan in mind to get DOC’s and the AHB’s 1080 use reduced (in favour of alternatives) by threatening to kill babies.

    I guess it’ll come out in time.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to izogi,

    Just the day before this story broke(belatedly) back in February, I'd had a lovely chat with fellow camper at a remote doc camp about alternatives to 1080. There was a less indiscriminate method in the pipeline...but was unlikely to get the govt tick because it would cost more.

    And look....you mentioned the Animal Health Board....so often left out of 1080 discussions...

    I understand the the 2014-15 1080 drop season is the first where DOC has used more 1080 than the AHB.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to izogi,

    I don’t totally get it either, but it might be a reference to the claim that he developed an alternative poison for possum control.

    Aha… with greed as the motive, suddenly this case starts to make sense. We learned earlier that the 1080 sample sent to Fonterra was lab quality, i.e. not available to the general public.

    The accused has been involved with a range of companies, including one that involves pest control.

    He also developed an alternative poison to control possum populations.

    Imagine his mindset for a moment. The blackmail attempt succeeds, NZ stops using 1080. What do we use to control possums? Hey… Mr X has developed a viable but costly alternative… let’s use that. Mr X gets rich and lives happily ever after. The end.

    I must say it’s especially reassuring that no anti-1080 protesters appear to be involved. Their campaign was much-maligned when this story broke.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1381 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Alfie,

    Imagine his mindset for a moment. The blackmail attempt succeeds, NZ stops using 1080. What do we use to control possums? Hey… Mr X has developed a viable but costly alternative… let’s use that. Mr X gets rich and lives happily ever after. The end.

    That could be the scenario...but nothing is that simple.

    I am really, really conflicted and confused on this issue.

    Aerial drops of 1080 bait is a clumsy and unsophisticated method of pest control.
    There are better methods, but these are labour intensive and hence more expensive. Choppers busily buzzing around looks like Something Is Being Done, whereas groups of people traipsing quietly through the bush setting traps and bait stations flies under the radar.

    However, risks to off target species is dramatically reduced.

    There is also a problem with the prevailing narrative.

    We are told we need 1080 to save the feathered forest inhabitants from decimation by the furry foreigners. Its all about the birds.

    When in reality, it is predominantly about keeping TB out of the dairy herds that are inexorably encroaching into the marginal lands adjoining the forests.

    I imagine this is the reason why this guy targeted the Dairy Giants rather than Twig and Tweet.

    I am speculating here, and it is frustrating not knowing the full facts.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The accused ... developed an alternative poison to control possum populations

    So now everyone involved in that field gets tainted with guilt by association until they finally get round to having a trial and lifting name suppression?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    So now everyone involved in that field gets tainted with guilt by association until they finally get round to having a trial and lifting name suppression?

    It's a small field. They probably know this guy.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Aerial drops of 1080 bait is a clumsy and unsophisticated method of pest control. There are better methods, but these are labour intensive and hence more expensive.

    To be fair, though, the presence of better methods, even if at more expense, is a claim of great dispute between the proponents of 1080 use and those who disagree with it. There's a lot of misinformation out there, but exactly which info is considered rubbish mostly correlates with which group a person tends to hang out with, and each accuses the other side of outright lying and corruption on the claims being made.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    There are better methods, but these are labour intensive and hence more expensive

    Other solutions can be the likes of the Trapinator and with the sale of 2 of these babies, the trap has then paid for itself so it is actually a job creator also and somebody gets comfort in the knowledge that 1080 is unnecessary, a skin is recycled and someone has a job making them. Win win.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    We are told we need 1080 to save the feathered forest inhabitants from decimation by the furry foreigners. Its all about the birds.

    When in reality, it is predominantly about keeping TB out of the dairy herds that are inexorably encroaching into the marginal lands adjoining the forests.

    I'm not so sure about that Rosemary. I too was anti-1080 until a trip deep into Fiordland made me question that stance.

    We were on a boat, miles from civilisation in the middle of a sound, surrounded by wonderful NZ bush. That place should have been bird heaven. But when the skipper cut the engine we were enveloped by silence, and I mean Silence. There wasn't a single bird call. Not one.

    That's because rats and stoats are decimating the birdlife over vast swathes of our countryside.

    1080 is a cruel poison which should not be used anywhere near people. But until there's a viable alternative and if you value native birdlife, doing nothing is not an option.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1381 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to izogi,

    To be fair, though,

    I have afriend who took it upon himself to eradicate rats ,stoats and possum from the hillside near his place by the Orakei basin. He has gone out and trapped for some time but has now saved the hillside and birdlife and native bush is flourishing. Others do the same in other spots. It's become an annual event I think via Council or it could be doc. Fair is seeing if alternatives to 1080 are viable and fair is if particular communities get a say in what they want for their area. I see the devastation one measly possum can do to one of our big Kanuka. I still would rather anything but 1080 around here. We have many hives around here ,many pets, many birds.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Alfie,

    But until there’s a viable alternative

    A viable alternative is not cutting doc spending and trapping/ shooting. People who live around here.Many go trapping and many ask permission to wander over private land doing this.Many shoot possum, the fur is worth money.There are alternatives. the situation you mention may be because of 1080. Birds are poisoned too you know.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

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