Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Conservation Minister Nick Smith on Thin Ice

Conservation Minister Nick Smith on Thin Ice


Minister of Conservation Nick Smith’s “Battle for the Birds” blitz by topdressing 1080 poison puts his credibility at stake says a hunter’s lobby Sporting Hunters Outdoor Trust (SHOT).

“Smith is skating on very thin ice as he’s blindly accepting DOC bureaucrat’s advice all based on the assumption the beech trees will have a super-seeding masting year and a population explosion in rats and mice.”

Laurie Collins said Nick Smith’s assumption flew in the face of historical facts. Beech trees had been seeding for millions of years in two to three year gaps between mast years according to Te Ara. The kiore rat - an adept climber - was introduced over 900 years ago and the Norway ship rat came with Captain Cook.

Beech masting and rats have been in co-existence for almost 1,000 years.

“Bird life was abundant with dawn choruses strong until the late 20th century when the newly formed Department of Conservation began its aerial 1080 onslaught on so called pests,” said Laurie Collins.

As a Forest Service employee Laurie Collins worked with 1080 in the late 1950s when the government poisoned the Caples Valley fallow deer herds and later working for pest boards and local councils.

“To be fair to say, I do understand 1080’s lethal traits. It’s a horrible poison that knows no boundaries,” he said. “Originally developed as an insecticide, 1080’s indiscriminate, killing everything - birds, insects, forest floor invertebrates etc.,”

Increasing its lethal effect is that it has a “secondary poisoning” property where anything scavenging on a poisoned carcass ingests the toxic chemical compound.

“A kea, weka, bush robin, falcon, hawk etc pecking at a 1080 killed carcass, is poisoned too. A tomtit or bush robin eating a 1080 killed insect is poisoned too. Not only that but a "sub-lethal" dose -i.e. not enough poison taken to kill - undermines health and ability to reproduce”.

Laurie Collins said 1080 poison as an insecticide kills the food of birds. Invertebrates (e.g.kiwi, weka food)and insects (e.g. fantail, tomtit etc., food) become toxic and are killed.

“It’s elementary. Destroy the food of birds, and any surviving birds dramatically decline. 1080 creates an ecological desert.”

Laurie Collins said he was amazed to hear Minister Nick Smith reported on TV as saying no bird deaths had occurred from 1080.

“Isn’t he aware at North Okarito on the West Coast, for instance, 80% of banded keas died from 1080? And other studies too?”

Laurie Collins said the cruelty of 1080 also angered him.

“Yes I’m angry about deer cruelly killed. Equally or more so I’m angry about poisoning birds and the forest ecosystem. I’m angry at the ecological carnage, the destruction and the gross misuse of taxpayers’ money,” he said. “Minister Smith’s “Battle For Birds” is based on a wild unscientific assumption. Dangerous stuff!”

It was tragically ironic that a citizen killing one native bird or with a dead 1080 poisoned bird in possession could be up in court. Whereas the department knows it kills birds and can do so without a challenge.

“It’s arguably wilful and intentional. DOC knows it kills birds from research studies, as shonky as some of the paid science studies are,” he said.

His advice for Minister Nick Smith.

“Don’t go by the word of incompetent bureaucrats. Do your homework.”

Otherwise in his opinion, “the TV satire “Yes Minister” is alive and well in Wellington.

Generally unknown was that government had a vested interest in spreading 1080 as the State Owned Enterprise “Animal Control Products Ltd.,” manufactured baits stored and distributed the poison. He said it was a topic that needed good investigative journalism to delve into.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PM's Press Conference: Crime And Diplomacy

The Prime Minister's press conference today was dominated by foreign affairs and an open letter from the PM to the Chinese community on crime. More>>

ACC: Govt Caught In Unethical Cluster Bomb Investments

The ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information,however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy. More>>

ALSO:

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>c

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news