DOC Fluffs Up 1080 Drop in Tennyson Inlet

1080 use in New Zealand

1080 use in New Zealand

In all the craziness of yesterday’s roastbusters stalker-media circus you may have missed the news about a small scale environmental disaster that was unfolding in Tennyson Inlet in the western arm of Pelorus Sound in the Marlborough Sounds..

We’ve spoken many times about the dangers of New Zealand dropping hundreds of tonnes of  1080 (a broad spectrum, inhumane animal poison which has no antidote) over its landscape every year.

Most of our regular readers will know that New Zealand is the world’s biggest buyer for the off-label use of a product that was designed to be used in small quantities. In enclosed traps. In buildings. Yes, we know it doesn’t sit well with that clean green image, but remember it is an image.

1080 drop in New Zealand

1080 drop in New Zealand

During a drop by the NZ Department of Conservation (DOC) in Tennyson Inlet on Saturday, 1080 pellets were broadcast over tramping track on which two people were walking. Rather like the Brazilian tourists that were sprayed with brush-killer they were understandably worried about the potential health effects. It’s not like DOC show any favoritism, they’d previously dropped 1080 on their own contractors who were out spraying weedkiller (link).

At the time of their exposure the Brazilian tourists said:

Most times we would see 1080 drops around the tracks and when they spray they don’t seem to care if anyone is there. Many of the travellers we met were saying the same thing. New Zealand’s 1080 poison and weed spraying programmes will definitely have a big negative impact on your tourism.”

You have to ask why public tracks aren’t closed down whilst 1080 treatments are taking place. You may be forgiven for thinking that DOC has a rather cavalier attitude to protecting the welfare of all sentient life in its erudite mission to eradicate non-native lifeforms from its conservation areas (possums, stoats, deer, horses, dogs and hedgehogs included).

You can read about what happened here but its the comments at the bottom of the page that fascinate and tell a less choreographed story than the Marlborough Express’ article.

Here’s some examples.


“My dog was killed two years ago by an aerial 1080 bait dropped in a public campsite and picnic area. All I’ve heard from the authorities so far is basically, “Sorry – our mistake”. Clearly these sorts of “mistakes” are still happening, and far too often. Losing a good and loyal dog is bad enough, but it could have easily been a small child who found the bait. Does somebody have to die before any action is taken?”

Clyde Graf

There are FEW “conditions to protect public health” when these drops take place. The forests remain open to the public, and to tourists, the baits land across the tracks, and directly into all streams 3 metres in width and under – and even across the bush huts.For heaven’s sake, when we were filming Poisoning Paradise in the Kahurangi National Park in 2008, DoC was dropping 1080 poisoned carrots onto the road that leads into the Opara Basin. The tourists we filmed noticed the baits dropping around them. This is New Zealand, this is where the public are mis-informed about aerial drops, every week. For anyone interested in viewing the untold facts about 1080 poison in NZ please click on the following link …



having had three of my four working dogs poisoned by 1080 I would rather have a dog caught in a leghold trap in spite of the problem getting the dogs out of them . For this area ,Akitio , TB and the possum problem ended when the AHB stopped using 1080 and started using traps in the main . If I was guessing I would say that DOC are after a lot more than opossums . As for the clean green image ,aspirational in the extreme .

You may also be interested in

Kea Deaths are Simply Collateral Damage in DOC’s 1080 Drops (August 2013)

1080 Use In NZ May Be Stopped By The USA Congress (July 2010)

External sites

Farmers Against 1080: FATE

Bureaucrat Gang-Up on “Farmers Against 1080″

Doc and the 1080 Fraud – by the KAKA group

Stop 1080! –  A NZ based Facebook group.

New Pro-1080 Alliance Lacks Sustainability Vision: – Press release from The Soil and Health Association of NZ

1080 Documentary wins out against NZ propaganda machine

Enuf is Enuf. Poison free New Zealand

Another nail in the coffin for 1080

Posts tagged 1080