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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Health And Safety: Late Addition Of National Security Provisions A Concern

The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its significant concerns at the last-minute addition to the Health and Safety Reform Bill of provisions for a closed material procedure for court proceedings where national security is involved. More>>

ALSO:

Rugby And Beer: World Cup Alcohol Bill Passes

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its third reading by 99 to 21... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Flag Campaign

So far, the public has treated the government’s flag campaign with something between disinterest and disdain. Most New Zealanders have instinctively seen through the marketing hype involved. More>>

Change For 2017: Local Govt To Decide On Easter Sunday Trading

The Government is to enable local communities, through councils, to decide whether retailers can open on Easter Sunday, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse announced. More>>

ALSO:

(And Targets Worse Than Australia's): Foresters Abandoning Emissions Trading Scheme

The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news