Envirologue by Dave Hansford

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Envirologue: 1080, "eco-terrorism" and agendas

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  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Alfie,

    1080 is a cruel poison which should not be used anywhere near people.

    Actually, Alfie, the EPA review concluded that there was a greater public health hazard associated with the use of the alternatives such as cyanide.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 822 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Other solutions can be the likes of the Trapinator...

    I haven't seen that one before but anything which wipes out possums must be applauded. I can proudly say that my trusty little Timms trap has killed 58 possums to date. Yesssss!

    There is also a little gas-powered trap on the market which attaches to trees, automatically drops the possum and resets after each kill. That sounds like a good idea but my neighbour has one and hasn't killed a single possum in four years.

    While these types of devices are great for killing possums, stoats and rats present a different problem altogether, especially in remote locations.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1387 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Alfie,

    There is also a little gas-powered trap on the market which attaches to trees, automatically drops the possum and resets after each kill. That sounds like a good idea but my neighbour has one and hasn’t killed a single possum in four years.

    I do hear about them but have also been told the likes of the one you have is the reason there are so many 3 legged possum limping around the bush. Still that makes for easy shootin' but must admit, they are pretty cruisy around here .A friend kicks them off his deck and then they get shot. He has the fattest Kereru I've ever seen in his trees

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

  • Alfie, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Birds are poisoned too you know.

    Not when they've all been wiped out by rats and stoats, which was sort of the point of my Fiordland story. Don't get me wrong -- I certainly wouldn't want to be anywhere near a 1080 drop and I'd love to see DoC being funded to provide more hunting and trapping.

    We live in a bird-friendly area close to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary and often you can't hear yourself think for the cacophony of native birds. It's delightful. If only our backcountry areas still sounded so sweet.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1387 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Alfie,

    Silence. There wasn’t a single bird call. Not one.

    And yet, when visiting Auckland and Tauranga over the past few weeks....tui, bellbirds, parakeets, kereru loud to the point of "Where's my blunderbuss, so I can hear the conversation?"

    Number of possible reasons...and maybe this will be the salvation of our native flora and fauna...create city sanctuaries. 'Cos what's good for the birds....

    PS Alfie...loved that site you linked to re the Timms Trap!

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I get the feeling that many of the vocal anti-1080 people are pikie/hippy types who like nothing better than scrambling around bush, probably with a gun.

    Which has two problems: what about the bush that they can't get to and the possums and rats can (and the damage they do getting to that bush). Not to mention that they don't actually *want* to eradicate mammals, as they'd have nothing left to hunt.

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

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I get the feeling that many of the vocal anti-1080 people are pikie/hippy types who like nothing better than scrambling around bush, probably with a gun.

    Some, but not all.

    Pragmatically, we are not able to turn back time and restore NZ to how she was before the human invasion.

    Maybe, we'll have to acknowledge that we will never be free of 'pests' and concentrate on making environments and ecosystems that encourage and strengthen remaining populations of native species.

    Some communities rely on being able to hunt introduced species for food. Way easier to go bush for a pig or a deer than drive 200ks to Pak n Save.

    (And wild pork...yum!)

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

  • Alfie, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    ... the likes of the one you have is the reason there are so many 3 legged possum limping around the bush.

    I think gin or leg-hold traps are mainly to blame for leg-loss and can honestly say that not a single possum has escaped from my Timms trap. As soon as they stick their heads in the entrance a metal bar comes up and whacks them in the carotid artery. Occasionally smaller ones will get a forelimb as well as their head in the trap, but they're always dead by the time I find them.

    Apart from one. He was well-caught but dragging the trap around the garden, so we shot him with a .22 rifle.

    It's amazingly easy to trap possums using only half an apple as bait. I hate the things.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1387 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I get the feeling that many of the vocal anti-1080 people are pikie/hippy types who like nothing better than scrambling around bush, probably with a gun.

    Not exclusively, from what I’ve seen. I think that’s more of a stereotype. Plus there are hunters out there who don’t have much of a problem with 1080 as it’s presently being used. The Deerstalkers Association itself doesn’t like it much, though.

    Which has two problems: what about the bush that they can’t get to and the possums and rats can (and the damage they do getting to that bush). Not to mention that they don’t actually *want* to eradicate mammals, as they’d have nothing left to hunt.

    There’s also a delicate balance between popultions of rats, possums and stoats, which any pest control programme needs to take into account, but it’s really only been understood within about the last 10 or 15 years.

    That sort of stuff’s summarised in the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report on 1080 use in NZ. The report didn’t go down well with most anti-1080 advocates (it basically concludes that NZ should be using much more of it), so I guess readers can judge. Personally I find it worthwhile reading.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Not to mention that they don’t actually *want* to eradicate mammals, as they’d have nothing left to hunt

    Plenty of pigs and goats in the bush too. And your hippy reference. I know one hippy with a gun ,the rest are farmers and locals at the pub. all of them see it as their duty to save the flora and fauna. All believing every effort helps. The pig hunting dogs are now being studied because their wild pig meat is making some of them sick. Enough of them to warrant research now. But hey chenobyl is doing fine without the human life, so may be a bit of poison, a bit of radiation, not so bad.

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Alfie,

    We got one too Alfie :) Not catching any at the mo but the neighbours terriers are doing a great job for us.

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

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    The War on Terroir...

    ...but the neighbours terriers are doing a great job...

    This warrants an exposé - the spread of Rural Terrierists and their effect on the terroir...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    This warrants an exposé – the spread of Rural Terrierists and their effect on the terroir…

    Which reminds me wordsmith..., clink clink. :)

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

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Scoop's scoop....http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1510/S00279/1080-baby-food-scare-seems-on-inside.htm

    “As it turned out, it was an inside job, i.e. someone within the poison pest control business.”

    Bill Benfield who has written two conservation-based books exposing the 1080 fraud, was interviewed by National Radio at the time the blackmail threat was made to Fonterra. His view of an “inside job” was broadcast in the 7 a.mnews bulletin. The same day it was quickly removed and absent in subsequent bulletins.

    That makes you wonder at government covering its backside by controlling national radio,” he added.

    (bold mine)

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

  • izogi, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    It’s more Scoop publishing a press release from the Sporting Hunters’ Outdoor Trust. It makes Bill Benfield wonder if there’s a conspiracy of the government controlling National Radio, I imagine.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    What Ben Benfield says is correct. There was the early mention of an inside job....then that angle totally disappeared. We thought we had misheard.

    That has happened on more that one occasion on Natrad. A particular story will get aired....you expect more...it never comes.

    I guess the security of their funding plays a part.

    (and yes,,,I did realise it was a press release from SHOT :))

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

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    What Ben Benfield says is correct.

    Whatever the merits of Benfield's track record as an anti-1080 campaigner, he's not judge and jury on this case. If there was good reason to expect the pending court case to repeat the murky machinations of the media he might be the best we have, but I doubt if we're there yet.

    (and yes,,,I did realise it was a press release from SHOT :))

    SHOT's Laurie Collins doesn't let the issue's importance distract him from keeping things narrowly partisan: “Only NZ First has had the guts to stand up on behalf of the increasing numbers of Kiwis opposed to the destruction 1080 causes the ecosystem."

    Collins has something of an ongoing relationship with NZ First's Richard "Wogistan" Prosser. In the usual NZ First fashion, environmental concerns are treated as narrowly selective single issues. We've just had another example of this with Denis O'Rourke's self-serving sniping at former ECAN councillor Eugenie Sage. Despite his chairing the trust that oversaw foreign banks apparently gaining control of Canterbury's water, O'Rourke still attempts a bit of arse-covering by invoking the ancient NZ First tradition of attacking the Greens.

    SHOT and whoever they're currently allied with don't own the 1080 extortion issue. There are others with just as much skin in the game.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Hi Rosemary. Do you know which day he was quoted on the 7am news bulletin? If I can figure out how to browse Radio NZ's old news bulletins, annoyingly I can't find a nice index, I'd not mind going back to listen to what he said. I don't share the view that failure to continue giving his ideas press time amounts to Radio NZ being pressured not to air them. To me, much simpler possibilities are either lazy journalism, or that someone at Radio NZ (and a heap of other outlets) decided that he wasn't a great source of information.

    Browsing forums like the 1080 Eyewitness facebook group alongside any of the anti-1080 media around, I've seen plenty of noise about inside jobs. Without meaning disrespect to individuals, the movement as a whole is fragmented. It attracts anyone and everyone who dislikes 1080, for whatever reason, and with any number of ideas of what they want to see, not always overlapping: more trapping near populations, more trapping everywhere, job creation, alternative poisons which are allegedly more humane and claimed to be as effective, specifically no aerial drops because they can't be trusted, give up and let the pests win because we're wasting our time, and so on. Fair enough to have concern, but it also means there's no strong coherent voice. Conclusions are often built on unsupported subjective observations ("I always hear birds and then I went into the same bush and didn't hear anything. 1080!!!"), anecdotes without references, and misinterpretation of existing scientific literature. There's also no shortage of conspiracy theories being aired about everything at every twist and turn, most if not all of which go unchallenged within the movement (question at your peril). It's not always easy to separate whatever signal might exist from the noise.

    When expressed there, at least until recently, the "inside job" thing has casually been tied to obvious motives which involve someone inside one of these horrid and vile, hated government or government-congratulatory organisations trying to frame and discredit the anti-1080 movement. This means someone in DOC, or the AHB, or Forest & Bird, or the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (who was the great hope for salvation until she reached the wrong conclusions and became just another part of the corrupt establishment). Or if not in that allotment, one of the indoctrinated scientists whose research is government funded, or they're otherwise just a poison-pusher based on conclusions they've reached, and thus automatically untrustworthy.

    It's great that Police have apparently found the person responsible. If people have issues with how they've been treated during the investigation then they should definitely make noise, and Police should be dealt with if they acted unreasonably. Maybe some of the above will be shown to be true once the facts emerge. But as far as media coverage is concerned until now, if the only speculative motives anyone could invent were that either some especially crazy person was trying to bring negative attention to 1080 by threatening to put it in baby formula, or that there was a conspiracy by a pro-1080 official from the "inside" somewhere to frame those who hate 1080 by making it seem like a crazy person was among them, I'm not surprised that the latter was given limited media attention, purely on merit.

    Or it might just be a 60 year old independent businessman with an isolated poison product who had some as-yet undisclosed way of getting a high grade of 1080 poison, and who through some type of sociopathic insanity, implemented a plan for selling more of their product by threatening babies. Does that count as an inside job? The narrative I'm now seeing is that if it's anyone who has some stake in any kind of poison, it's an "inside job" and they (whoever "they" is because it's so fragmented) were right all along. Unfortunately whatever it turns out to be, this whole thing is more about people's hate and distrust of each other than about the actual merits (or not) of using 1080 in the way it's being used.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I heard that there are pretty heavy supression orders around this case - it could simply be that RNZ realised they'd sailed a little too close to the line and tacked away to safer waters

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to izogi,

    Hi Rosemary. Do you know which day he was quoted on the 7am news bulletin?

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/20170407
    http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20150311-0717-anti_1080_protesters_distancing_themselves_from_person-048.mp3

    and while finding that, i stumbled across this site....

    http://www.postmanproductions.org/?p=3119

    (11 March, Morning Report search...natrad has the broadcast dates under the heading, I just kept clicking back until I reached the right day. I remember hearing it, so it must be there, somewhere. Sometimes, sometimes, stuff disappears from the google...totally. Have to polish my tinfoilhat when that happens!)

    I am inclined to think that this was the action of someone at the end of their tether. The cheese finally slipped off the cracker. The load was not properly secured and the boat capsized in the bottom of a trough in a rough sea.

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

  • izogi, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Cool, thanks. I was thinking of news bulletins rather than Morning Report. :)

    Also I'm not trying to apologise for the PM and friends playing politics with the immediate eco-terrorism label. That was just dumb.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    SHOT’s Laurie Collins doesn’t let the issue’s importance distract him from keeping things narrowly partisan: “Only NZ First has had the guts to stand up on behalf of the increasing numbers of Kiwis opposed to the destruction 1080 causes the ecosystem.”

    NZ First is also highly opportunist and has spotted a niche for potential votes. Considering the three largest parties in parliament are strongly convinced of using 1080 in its current form, I can’t see how NZ First would make any practical in-roads in changing that policy. I think it’ll just take the votes and run. Never say never, though, I guess.

    At best I think it’ll get a symbolic victory that can be announced that way, but would be unlikely to make a material difference to anything significant. Maybe more money will be allocated for some kind of trap research, or maybe a proposed aerial drop somewhere will get replaced with a trapping programme, or with nothing, much to the appreciation of people who’d thought there was a risk of their water supply being poisoned.

    But it’s not as if all of this theatre isn’t still having an effect.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to izogi,

    Maybe more money will be allocated for some kind of trap research,

    Like this!!! http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/countrylife#audio-201774976

    http://goodnature.co.nz/index.php?pageID=products&productId=3

    Seriously effective looking beastie....I am saving up for the rat version...

    The programme is well worth a listen.

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

  • Alfie, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Seriously effective looking beastie….I am saving up for the rat version…

    Maybe think twice about that Rosemary. I mentioned above (without referring to the brand) that my neighbour has one of those new-fangled Good Nature possum traps. Both traps are in similar areas and are positioned only 20 metres apart.

    My basic Timms trap has notched up a total of 58 possums while Barry's gas-powered job has scored nil... not a one.

    Maybe he's doing something wrong but I know I'd opt for a Timms every time. ;-)

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1387 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Alfie,

    I suspect i have the same feelings towards rats and stoats as you have for possums.

    I hate the buggers.

    We have chooks. Chooks attract rats. Some years in huge numbers. (Like the year the neighbour got those plug in pest deterrers. )

    We have used various methods to reduce the rat population...with a cage trap baited with ham fat being most effective, and safest for the chooks. Trouble is...you have a very live, very angry rat to deal with. Then you have to reset the trap.

    To protect the nesting native birds in the vegetation around the house from rats and stoats (and they are bold hunters) we have to put the trap high in the trees.

    I'm getting too old for daily tree climbing.

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

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