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Call for five Taupo District Councillors to resign

Call for five Taupo District Councillors to resign.

In a press release Friday 29th July in the Taupo Times, Taupo district councillors named as Councillors Nicola Williams, Kirsty Trueman, Anna Kirk, Rob Henderson and Chris Johnson were reported to wish to have the Taupo District Council resolution that was passed in September 2009; “To advocate with central government and appropriate agencies to develop alternative pest control methods and to abolish aerial dropping of 1080 poison;” rescinded.

According to Taupo Times, “Ms Williams has been outspoken in her drive to rescind the resolution, describing it as “totally inappropriate” for local government to take such a stance on something over which they had no control.” Ms Williams also claims to have received huge support from government funded Department of Conservation and the Animal Health Board, a “Charitable Society” also mostly funded by government and the Waikato Regional Council, which issues resource consents for the use of aerial 1080 poison, Federated farmers and others for her view.

The resolution to advocate for alternatives instead of 1080 poison was passed by TDC in 2009 following extensive public consultations, open presentations of views and the democratic process. These councillors have forgotten and ignored the fact that the resolution reflects the wishes of the community.

What we are now witnessing are some new Taupo councillors claiming that government funded agencies actively support a lobby against a democratic council resolution, effectively telling the Taupo electorate they have no rights to advocate in their community interests and that the issue of spreading 1080 poison in the district is something the constituents cannot influence or control. Councillor Ms Kirk is quoted as saying “We don’t have any say in this issue, it is bigger than us”.

Taupo people have already proven that they do not accept or believe that premise. For that matter, nor do the thousands of New Zealanders who object to the wholesale spreading 1080, Pindone, Brodifacoum (Talon) and similar poisons.

That any councillors would have the gall to suggest to their constituents that they have no rights to advocate against actions such as 1080 poison discharge which are perceived as a negative influence on the wishes and social wellbeing of residents, the local economy and the clean green image of Taupo internationally is bad enough, but to further admit that government departments and agencies and a regional council actively support negating the rights of Taupo constituents to advocate against a practice abhorrent to most, is an outrageous affront to democracy. In reality, this amounts to bullying and interference by regional and central government, supported by councillors who are not worthy of their position. These councillors should resign immediately and the Governor General and Prime Minister should censure the publicly funded agencies involved in this attack on the rights of Taupo citizens to express their opinions and their rights to advocate those views.

Taupo District has every right to contribute to regional pest management strategies (RPMS) and is expected to do so as part of the Taupo contribution to its Waikato Regional Council regional plans. Therefore what right does Environment Waikato have to now try to deny the Taupo people their rights to advocate against 1080 use in the district and the region?

A report by Environment Waikato which compared the costs of aerial 1080 against ground based controls over three years showed ground based trapping of possum to be vastly more cost effective than aerial 1080 poison, so Taupo is correct in its current advocacy for alternatives.

By G. A Sperry
Chairman; NZ Wildlands Biodiversity Management Society Incorporated. www.1080.org.nz


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