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Predator-Free Author Blasts DoC Bureaucrats

A conservationist and one of the instigators of Predator-Free New Zealand has blasted a national conservation organisation Forest and Bird and the Department of Conservation for creating a “tapestry of theft and deception” to sabotage the original concept while setting up their own “poisonous projects” using the original name. There was one major difference, the pirated project contained the use of poison, e.g. 1080, which the original scheme did not.

The criticism of both DoC and Forest and Bird is in a newly published book “Duped-The True Story Behind Predator Free NZ” written by Les Kelly of Marlborough.

“It was a crime against democracy too. They went behind our backs,” he said. “We were blind-sided.”

Les in hindsight realises the original Predator Free NZ members were well-meaning but politically naive.

“We were duped,” he rues.

The big plus for Les Kelly’s team’s scheme was that it uses no poisons.

In setting out the duplicity and deceit he pulls no punches. Forest and Bird Officer Kevin Hackwell gets caned for his claim about 1080 that “it’s as safe to eat as a packet of salt and vinegar chips.”

“And to think they (Forest and Bird) call 1080 protestors nutters,” says Les Kelly. “Forest and Bird should be charged with criminal negligence.”

He tells of the myth around deer repellent supposedly used with 1080 to not kill wild deer.

Deer Repellent

He tells of contractors being instructed to double the 1080 strength to kill deer.

“So are DOC and OSPRI (bovine Tb agency) telling the truth when they say they are putting deer repellent in the pellets? Or are they increasing the strength and toxicity of pellets to include deer in the kill?”

Les Kelly slams the lack of objective investigative journalism by the media such as newspapers and TV referring to “a news media that appears o have been instructed by their owners not to investigate.”

A non-government organisation is needed to tackle the challenge of making New Zealand free of predators says Les Kelly.

“There needs to be established, an independent not-for-profit non-government predator free organisation (NGO) that would have the ability to access considerable national and international corporate and philanthropic funding and protect it from future political interference,” he says.

Urgent Need

He urgently wants help, both financially and in terms of personnel to form a NGO. It is vital the NGO has no political affiliations and is run along strict business lines with a professional CEO and board of directors.\

Shunning poisons, the original scheme uses Goodnatured traps which are toxin-free, self resetting all-weather traps. Death is virtually instantaneous.

“In fact it is the most humane method available,” explains Les,


Poisons such as 1080 and brodifacoum take days and even weeks to kill pests. Other creatures such as birds, insects, invertebrates, deer and other animals also suffer an unnecessary slow and cruel death besides target “pests”.

Les Kelly envisages a non-profit NGO would:-

(a) Create employment

(b) Utilise redundant helicopter fleet post-covid19 (ex-tourism)

(c) Help government with DoC’s reduced income stream through loss of tourism

(d) Alleviate the considerable current work and financial burden from DoC.

Footnote:- “Duped “ by Les Kelly is available from predatorfreenz@gmail.com, Price $25 plus postage i.e.$29.50 for urban delivery or $33.50 for rural delivery.

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