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Alternative Water Supply During 1080 Poison Drop



On June 13th I attended an OSPRI meeting with about 30 Turangi/Tokaanu residents, about the proposed 1080 poison drop in the Pihanga/Kakaramea area, south of Lake Taupo. The biggest concern was about people's water supply.

Drinking water is contaminated in a number of ways during a 1080 drop - through baits being dropped directly into streams, from poisoned animal carcasses decomposing in waterways, and through 1080 dust landing on house roofs, and being transferred to water tanks.

During questions, it was confirmed that poison bait will be spread across streams, and that residents within 3km of the poisoned boundaries are entitled to an alternative water supply if they request it - noted in Conditions 25-30 of the Public Health Unit (PHU) Permission to drop 1080.

However, there's a catch. You have to know about it to request it.

The vast majority of people drawing water directly from streams are "unregistered water takes." These people will probably not be told to disconnect their water on the day of the poison drop, nor will they be offered an alternative water supply. Only registered water takes are notified of the exact 1080 application time-frames.

Taupo District Council has already signed off on this poison drop. When asked about people drawing water from streams, the Chief Executive said bait isn't dropped near streams. I assume he hasn't seen the toxin distribution flightchart from the Pihanga/Kakaramea 1080 drop two years ago, which confirms that 1080 was dropped across almost every stream. This is normal practice in almost all poison drops. See Toxin Flight Charts at https://www.tv-wild.com/toxin-distribution-charts

The Safety Data Sheet for 1080, and the manufacturer's label states that pest contractors should (1) avoid contamination of water, and (2) remove or bury poisoned carcasses. Neither of these requirements happens.

In my opinion, every council, public health unit and Worksafe, should ensure all residents have access to safe drinking water. They should also require that Landcare Research protocols are followed, including water testing 8 hours after the application of poison bait.

All Turangi and Tokaanu residents within 3km of the Pihanga/Kakaramea area who have concerns, should contact OSPRI, EPRO (the pest contractor), and the Medical Officer of Health at the Public Health Unit in Rotorua.

The poison drop is planned to happen in July.

Kathy White

Waikato Regional Councillor for Taupo-Rotorua

This is my personal view.

ends

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