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Bureaucrat Gang-Up On "Farmers Against 1080"

Bureaucrat Gang-Up On "Farmers Against 1080

Anti-1080 advocacy group Farmers Against Ten Eighty is annoyed at the Animal Health Board "hijacking" a mediation meeting organised by MP Damien O'Connor, held at the Greymouth District Council.

Farmers Against Ten Eighty spokeswoman Mary Molloy of Hari Hari said the organisation had been invited to the MP's mediation meeting on the understanding that West Coast people only would be involved.

" But instead the Animal Health Board were represented by several AHB big-wig bureaucrats from Wellington. There was no representation from the Regional council and nor was any attempt made to find common ground," she said. "Frankly it was a hijack by the bureaucrats of AHB."

Mrs Molloy said the AHB & DOC argued on the need for the A class poison 1080. However the board representatives totally ignored the potential and risk of this A class poison to wipe out export markets overnight when residues would sooner or later be detected in milk, meat, honey or other export products.

"It's happened before apparently with exports of milk, meat and even timber. And a possum based pet food export to Japan was shut down when Japanese learned of New Zealand's 1080 programme," she said.

Mrs. Molloy expressed disappointment in Damien O'Connor's attitude. She endeavoured to give copies of her supporting documents to him but expressed annoyance with his flippant remark "I hope you don't expect me to read all that".

"Is he serious about this? Or was it just a charade? Frankly I felt our time was wasted by a meeting that made a mockery of mediation and sensible discussion," she said. The only useful information to come out of the meeting was the assertion from D. Bruce Warburton that the AHB had no need to pre or post monitor to establish if there was even a population of possums to poison.

When the meeting was asked by Damien O'Connor for a statement to reflect the meeting, Mrs. Molloy asked "that the Animal Health Board & Department of conservation, as an act of good faith, in recognition that the Westland District residents & rate-payer petition which has been accepted by the Local Government & Environment Select Committee, suspend or cease all 1080 operations in Westland District pending findings of the select committee."

"Damien O'Connor stated that he really did not want to accept a motion, which suggested he didn't want anything to come out of the meeting," said Mrs Molloy. "It is most unlikely that any further meetings of this sort will take place - our members' time is valuable and voluntary, I couldn't ask that they attend such as this again"...


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