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

Gordon Campbell:
On The Inadequate Response To Sexual Violence Prevention

On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the attitudes of ACC staff towards sexual violence victims, and offering them more substantive support.

Hopefully, this will help to reverse the damage done with the insensitive, punitive ACC policy put in place by the incoming Key government in 2009, which in some parts of New Zealand, saw 90 per cent of sexual violence victims being turned away by ACC. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

"To Help Families Get Ahead": April 1 Changes Kick In

Prime Minister John Key says Paid Parental Leave, the parental tax credit, the minimum wage and Superannuation will increase, while average ACC levies will fall, and more people will be helped in to home ownership... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news