The 1080 hysteria has been debunked – what does it tell us about the state of activist debate?


The 1080 hysteria has been debunked on so many fronts it’s difficult to know where to begin. Here is Dr Mike Joy…

…Mike Joy is one of the best known environmental fresh water crusaders in NZ, to suggest he is somehow in the pocket of big business is as insane as suggesting I am a fully paid up member of the Nazi Party. Here in fact is the big business scientists trying to attack Mike’s credibility.

Here is Northland regional councillor Mike Finlayson who boiled up water after a 1080 drop, drank it and did not die. Before Mike became a Northland regional councillor, he was deeply involved in social justice movements, cannabis reform and environmental groups, to suggest Mike is somehow in the grip of a secret cabal of poison enthusiasts is ludicrous.

We now get confirmation that the dead wildlife that was thrown into Parliament as evidence of 1080 poisoning did not in fact die from 1080.

Former Green Party MP, Kevin Hague, is a person of impeccable honour and ethics, I have known him for many years and regard him on par with Russel Norman. To suggest Kevin is somehow part of a conspiracy to profit from 1080 is like suggesting Trump is secretly a feminist.

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And yet that is where we are.

The venom, self righteousness and utterly misplaced perceptions that 1080 is poisoning  human beings  and vast amounts of unintentional wildlife has been an eye opening reality check of how poorly understood science is in todays activist world.

1080 hysteria is on par with chemtrails and anti-vaxx conspiracy.

It’s a symptom of a world where knowledge of a subject has been replaced with google and wikipedia. This is exacerbated by social media platforms that are fuelled algorithmically by outrage and subjective fury so the craziest and most extreme viewpoints are repeated and shared to the level of brainwash.

I honestly believe social media has ended up being one of the most counter productive riptides for progress as it has ended up alienating and dividing us with a cacophony of screaming voices more than it has generated solidarity.

I say this out of concern and love for many of the people who believe 1080 is some type of environmental hate crime as many are on the left or progressive side of politics and burning people who have misplaced good for the environment in their heart is of no joy to me.

We have to learn to explain to our fellow comrades why they are wrong in a way that gives them face saving grace to reconnect and come back to the movement otherwise we simply turn them permanently.

I appreciate that passions ran white hot on 1080, and I appreciate it comes from a place of good, but even if 1080 was the terrible environmental vandal as has been claimed, the naked reality is that in a climate warming world, 1080 is the fucking least of our worries.

Brothers and sisters – we have 10 years to make fundamental change to the way we live and interact with our environment or else the planet will trip on feedback loops that will utterly destroy our global civilisation. That need to live in harmony with our environment is necessary, not because 1080 poses a existential risk to us, but because climate change does and there is no alternative now.

1080 is not the villain is has been made out to be, and the energy many activists spent on trying to manufacture that case is far better spent on climate change which will tear the planet apart.



  1. 1080 is highly toxic to most life forms.

    That has not been debunked – so far.

    Putting a man made toxin into the environment is bad news for many reasons.

    Just as 1080 is seen as a preferred method of reducing mammalian predators, doesn’t alter that the toxicity is dispersed into the environment and doesn’t turn to vinegar as claimed.

    Using 1080 as an economic expediency is very confined short term thinking.

    The least that can be done is also to use many other methods to reduce predators as well as control and reverse human land development that interferes with native wildlife habitat, particularly wetlands and native forest areas that have been cleared.

    While 1080 drops are associated with some predators numbers being very much reduced and bird life numbers over time increase, the analysis should not stop there.

    What ever else 1080 may be doing on land in the soil, rivers and estuaries and has not been evaluated sufficiently to give satisfactory answers. It may well take time to discover adverse consequences if we apply the resource to look for evidence of what else is affected.

    The environment is a complex jigsaw of lifeforms, the majority of which are inter depended on other species. There is a high likelihood that unintended environmental damage will be done by 1080.

    It was a mistake to allow mammalian predators into NZ just as it was a mistake for the NZ Forest Service run a stoat breeding programme for release to control rabbits.

    Hindsight is cluttered with regrets and lost opportunities to avoid unintended consequences.

    Very recent research finds that herbicides present in the environment in the have influenced the rate of increased resistance to antibiotics.

    As far as climate change tearing the planet apart, I suspect the planet will still be here long after human ignorance, greed and superstitious fear, has done its damage.

    • Yes John W, 1080 is toxic to a wide range of organisms. But mammals are the group that is most susceptible to 1080, which is why it’s used in NZ – a land with no native land mammals apart from 2 bat species, but many introduced pest mammals that threaten native flora and fauna. Please take a look at this article about the relative toxicity of 1080 to different organisms:

      You say “the toxicity is dispersed into the environment”, but studies have repeatedly shown that microbes rapidly break down 1080 in the environment. This lack of persistence is another reason why 1080 is a logical choice for broad-scale control of invasive mammals in NZ. Please see the following articles on decomposition of 1080:

      • Thank you for your reply and references given all of which I have read before along with many others.

        If you take my post as being opposed to the use of 1980 then my point has been missed.

        Sloppy and emotive argument for and against the use of 1080 is not useful in protecting the NZ environment and its native flora and fauna.

        The generalisations about 1080 such as it mainly effects mammals, should never be used to discount its effect on a wide range of vertebrates and invertebrates.

        Reporting of science has to be accurate to be valid.

        Reference to fluoroacetate occurring in some plant species naturally may be taken imply that 1080 is naturally occurring in plants, but as it does not, such references may be misleading if not fully described.

        Potassium fluoroacetate is found in some plants growing natively in a mammalian bearing environment. Attempt to lump fluoroacetate as being 1080 is misleading innuendo, something not used in accurate reporting of good science. There appear to be no known native species in NZ that Potassium fluoroacetate is found in so it does not occur naturally here so any such reference is incongruous.

        Australian based soil research used as evidence as to how 1080 breakdown is liable to occur, indicates the shallowness of NZ based research with NZ conditions and soils relevant to our actual understanding needed.

        Australia also does not use 1080 as we do, but uses mitigating measures.

        The understanding of the effect of 1080 in the environment is not complete by any measure, and grasping at straws must be avoided if we have a more complete picture than what we have today.

        While this link is a few years old, the approach to inquiry appears to be a lot sounder than the reports you have linked to.

        Reductionism can be useful in micro analysis but reductionist findings can rarely be reliably applied to dictate understanding of a much broader picture.

        My concern is that statements such as “Debunking” used a shallow dismissal of analysis, can be very misleading. Such statements may says more about the preference of some to have answers, as opposed to a more on going open minded collection of evidence.

        Economic expedience is why we are using 1080 to attempt to solve a problem of our own making.

        Caring for our environment and preserving and restoring natural wildness, is not a priority for business NZ, so resource allocation is quite insufficient.

        Economics to many means to enable in the short term, to continue living as we are.

        The environment is a much more encompassing constraint.

        • If (as you suggest) 1080 is not broken down by microbes in NZ, why are concentrations of 1080 so low in waterways, as reported in these papers?

          Note Hamilton & Eason’s concluding sentences in their abstract: “Measurable amounts of 1080 occurred only within 48 h of the application of toxic bait. All subsequent samples were either free from 1080 or contained concentrations below the limit of detection (0.0003 mg/1). These levels pose no threat to humans, stock, or aquatic life.”

          Similarly, Eason et al. report “No 1080 was detected in the streams and rivers of the Waipoua forest or in the surface or ground water of Rangitoto Island.”

          And you refer us to a well-known anti-1080 propaganda website that proclaims itself to be “1080Science”. Use of fake experts is a classic anti-1080 tactic – other science denialist “causes” like the anti-fluoride and anti-vax lobbies often take the same approach. The authors of that site aren’t “independent” scientists as they claim to be, they’re anti-1080 activists, and having a few letters after their names doesn’t make them reliable sources of information. A website that clutches at every straw in the literature isn’t a scientific enterprise – it’s propaganda.

  2. So 1080 breaks down quickly in the environment Martyn, esp in a watery environment, it being a naturally synthesised chemical in some plants discouraging grazing of those plants, and the environment quickly breaks it down to it’s quite abundant naturally occurring components . Thus quickly undetectable in waterways or in the organisms it has killed during the process of breaking it down as those components were always there in plentiful quantities already.
    This fast decomposition to harmless compounds is undoubtably the reason it is attractive for DOC to use even though the target species are more tolerant to it than domestic animals as the are indigenous to areas of Australia where plants containing it as protection are also indigenous in more abundance than anywhere else on earth. But at least it does not do on poisoning indefinitely like many poisons that have been spread around in the past do.
    The objection is to the collateral poisoning of our natural wildlife while it is still active which many people such as myself suspect is being comprehensively lied about. What are they paying you to take up their cause? You have not debunked my objection to the use of 1080.
    D J S

    • A few questions for you David Stone:

      1. Where is the evidence that you are being systematically lied to? Are you saying the scientists who wrote the articles linked below are liars?

      (2) You say you object to 1080 because of collateral poisoning of “our natural wildlife”. However, studies like the ones linked above have repeatedly shown that any collateral poisoning of native birds (which does happen sometimes) is heavily outweighed by subsequent rapid increases in nesting success and adult bird survival – because of the big reduction in mammalian predators. Please do read these articles – and I can recommend plenty more if you want.

      3. But “our natural wildlife” is a bit vague – is it really collateral poisoning of introduced deer and pigs (rather than native birds) that worries you?

      4. You say your objection hasn’t been “debunked” by Bradbury’s article. So I ask you: what would it take to debunk your objection?

      • (1) It’s a suspicion. Perfect proof is not available where everything is amateur of degree and a balance of benefit and harm.
        (2) It’s a powerful insecticide and any creatures that predate on insects will be subject to secondary poisoning .
        (3) I do care about dogs , wild pigs not so much. Certainly not cf native birds.
        (4) Proof that it does not kill anything except possums, rats, mice, and stoats . So not available.

        My objection would be very greatly ameliorated if I was convinced that there could ever be an end to the poisoning. As in John Key’s ridiculous undertaking of a pest free country just before he left it all to someone else to accomplish. It is not a permanent solution. Also for the sake of more money spent (on people who need healthy employment) much safer more controlled pest control can be done.
        It might even be that some 1080 is used as its degradability is a plus cf some other poisons. It’s the broadcast that is so objectionable.
        D J S

        • “1) It’s a suspicion. Perfect proof is not available where everything is amateur of degree and a balance of benefit and harm.”

          Are you serious?! You base the future welfare of our forests and endangered birdlife on “suspicion”???? Is that the substance of your argument? “Suspicion”??

          Lord. Give. Me. Strength.

        • +100 DAVID STONE re “It’s a powerful insecticide and any creatures that predate on insects will be subject to secondary poisoning .”

          ….one not need not just have “suspicions” to be opposed to 1080….one just has to look at the empirical evidence from those who live not in the cities but close to the mountains and in the bush and on farmland…secondary kill of native birds and kiwi has put them on the endangered list

          ‘Mike Meads – DoC’s insect guy speaks out, before his death’



          “More evidence on the apparent wanton decimation of NZ’s bird population by the deadly class 1A ecotoxin 1080, banned in most countries, with no antidote, dispensed by helicopters into the bush like a ‘veritable lollie scramble’ as I recently read it described by a person who for a long time worked with both 1080 poison & with DoC.

          The late Bill Benfield* in his book, The Third Wave, Poisoning the Land, describes dead birds that were picked up by searchers in 2002 at the Waianakarua Scenic Reserve in North Otago (a 4043 hectare block). (p 71)

          Each bird had been grid referenced on a map and at a pest management strategy meeting in Christchurch (May 2009) a Landcare scientist was able to estimate the likely death toll… an astonishing 10,000 birds. Benfield describes the potential possum population in the reserve as being around 7-8,000 in which case he concludes, the pest management people (DoC & AHB) are poisoning more birds than there are possums.




          ( maybe the anti 1080 protesters should have deposited a few dead cows killed by 1080 at parliament (not the road kill birds which they openly declared were symbols of 1080 poisoning…but then again handling animals killed by 1080 is dangerous in itself)

          • Red Buzzard knows perfectly well it is not 1080 that has put native birds on the endangered list – rats, stoats and possums have done that job.

            Red Buzzard regularly trots out the same old schtick. For further refutation of his/her anti-1080 propaganda, please see the comments on an earlier post:


            At one point during this earlier exchange, Red Buzzard reveals a curious attachment to introduced deer and pigs.

            • @ CHRUSKL re my “a curious attachment to introduced deer and pigs”

              …please can you evidence this…I know that you can not

              ….you might be very surprised to know who I am

              ….but I know that you are a bullshitter and you are the shill with a vested interest in 1080

              …your quality of argument is very poor

              • Please click here Red Buzzard:


                and remind yourself what you wrote. Here’s what you said at one point:

                “… and the killing of deer, pigs should concern you !”

                It’s clear from that remark you’re pretty keen on introduced deer and pigs. I’m more concerned with protection of native flora and fauna – let’s remember that most of our native plants and birds are endemic to NZ, i.e. not found anywhere else.

                You say I have a “vested interest in 1080”. Such as what? Shares in a company that makes 1080? (you’ll need to tell me which company it is, so I can buy some of those shares 😉 ) Contractor that carries out 1080 drops? (sorry, I don’t have a pilot’s license).

                I must look up “shill” – not sure what it means, but something tells me it’s not nice.

                • I hope people do read your link because what you say is twisted and taken out of context ….and in fact you set me up to give the appearance of only being concerned about deer and pigs

                  ( with the insinuation that I am a selfish hunter only concerned with my own pleasure killing deer and pigs)

                  …my point was that if 1080 kills deer and pigs …and more recently a spectacular example where it killed several cows… it sure as hell can kill people ( but obviously the point was too subtle for you)

                  … for your information I am not a hunter and do not own a gun, nor do I kill animals. Although I do not object to New Zealand hunters. They are part of a fine New Zealand tradition of hardy back country people with a passionate love for the outdoors, fitness, the mountains and New Zealand’s native flora and fauna wild life. I believe many of them are also passionate environmentalists who care about native birds (probably more so than virtuous ,esoteric so -called ‘Forest and Bird’ and Green Party members who live in the cities)

                  then you give your virtue statement:

                  “It’s clear from that remark you’re pretty keen on introduced deer and pigs. I’m more concerned with protection of native flora and fauna – let’s remember that most of our native plants and birds are endemic to NZ, i.e. not found anywhere else.”

                  ( oh wow aren’t you the one- up-man-ship, patronising virtuous and intelligent one!)

                  It is this sort of arrogant twisting that puts people off ‘Forest and Bird’ and the Green Party … because it is 1080 that is killing our native birds to the point of extinction…as any back country New Zealander who actually lives in the back country knows from the long term empirical evidence

                  • Political shill? It wasn’t me who was telling readers to vote NZF the other day.

                    If you repeatedly make or report claims about 1080 that you MUST know to be false (like “secondary kill of kiwi and native birds has put them on the endangered list”) then people will question your motives.

                • So what if someone is “keen on deer and pigs “.Many people regard them as a valuable resource. And why shouldn’t they when numbers are not out of control.
                  I’ve yet to see Forest and Bird and other extreme green lobbyists expressing their interest in eradicating sparrows, blackbirds, German owls, gum trees, introduced grasses or wasps.
                  It’s cool while sipping your Chardonnay to hate on introduced mammals though despite the fact our ecosystems are all modified with introduced species which aren’t big and furry.

                  • Are you damaged? That is the typical arrogance one expect from a Social Justice Warrior who spends way to much time virtue signalling on The Standard.

                  • Numbers of deer not out of control? That depends where we’re talking about. In small reserves within easy reach of lots of hunters (like Te Miro and Tapui in the Waikato) recreational hunting seems to keep deer numbers to levels that don’t cause serious damage. Even in the Kaimai range, deer don’t seem to be having a big effect on the understorey – possibly again because of recreational hunters based mostly in BOP and Waikato. It’s often a different story in remote beech forests. Have you seen the east bank of the Waikaia River in Southland lately? There’s almost no understorey left apart from pepperwood. How about the western margins of the Kaimanawa ranges? – similar story, and you’re standing on sika deer droppings every 2nd or 3rd step you take.

                    So DOC might sometimes view by-kill of deer in remote beech forests as a plus. But they’ll sometimes add deer repellent to 1080 in areas where deer populations are being controlled by recreational hunting.

                    Few people are pushing for eradication of deer at this stage (and I’m not). I just think native flora and fauna should have priority in environmental management decisions.

                    Nobody’s pushing for eradication of sparrows or blackbirds because they don’t seem to threaten native species or humans. Wasps are another matter – they certainly do cause problems, and I think Landcare is looking into biological control of them.

          • That massive population declines in species that you are very, very, very concerned about has not happened in 50 years of 1080 use is not an adequate threshold for modifying DOC pest irradiation programmes.

            • Indeed, Sam.

              Furthermore to Red Buzzard;

              “maybe the anti 1080 protesters should have deposited a few dead cows killed by 1080 at parliament (not the road kill birds which they openly declared were symbols of 1080 poisoning…but then again handling animals killed by 1080 is dangerous in itself)”

              If ban1080 activists engage in “symbolism” (ie, lies) why on earth should we believe them??

              Their tone is more like a fundamental religion than hard science and fact-based.

          • It appears that the “concerns” of Quinn and Patricia Whiting-O’Keefe have been discounted as more fear-mongering

            Those two scientists are American and advocate more trapping instead of 1080. As such they appear to have little substantial awareness of New Zealand’s rugged and often inaccessible terrain. Furthermore, they aren’t even experts in this field: “Spokesperson Nick Hancox says Dr Whiting-O’Keefe has a background in US drug trials, but no expertise in ecology, wildlife management or pest control.”

            Kind of useless having “experts” comment in a field they’re not expert in.

        • (1) OK, so you’re advocating suspicion-based environmental management? Would you do the same with the justice system? The health system?

          I prefer evidence-based policy myself.

          (2) You say insectivores “will” be subject to secondary poisoning. I’ve already sent you these links, but here they are again:

          In the first paper, the authors report “No common native bird species showed short-term negative effects post-1080. Three species – tomtit (Petroica macrocephala), silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), grey warbler (Gerygone igata) – increased signicantly. Longer-term effects on birds were nearly all neutral or positive, including bellbirds which increased three-fold in treatment areas”

          Tomtits, silvereyes, grey warblers and bellbird all eat insects, John. But they were not hurt by the 1080 drop.

          The second paper also included several insectivorous birds, and concluded “The poisoning does not appear to have had any negative effect on the bird populations of Rangitoto”

          (3) If you care about dogs, after a 1080 drop you keep them out of the forest until DoC says its safe to take them in again. Simple.

          (4) Setting such an impossibly high standard is hardly being part of the solution. We know perfectly well that 1080 sometimes kills non-target species. The point is the net benefit to native flora and fauna is positive, because of drastic reductions in pest numbers.

  3. Every scrap of scientific data shows that 1080 breaks down quickly, especially once exposed to water.

    There is no evidence of our waterways being contaminated by 1080 (because it breaks down so quickly).

    There is simply no credible alternative to 1080. Trapping can be done in easily accessible areas – but in inaccessible wilderness areas it become problematic. On top of which there simply aren’t enough trappers to carry out this specialised task.

    Perhaps the worst of the ban-1080 lobby group – and which I find most disturbing – is the willingness to cherry-pick data; use misinformation; and tell outright lies.

    Any cause which has to use such tactics is not a cause, it is more akin to a religious belief.

    The ban1080 lobbyists were originally hunters who objected to their quarry being killed by 1080 (deer, thar, etc). In short, hunters were pissed off that deer were being killed because that prevented those same hunters from killing those animals. Perverted logic, to put it mildly.

    One clear fact remains salient: without 1080, our forests would be over-run with possums, stoats, mice and rats. Trees would be denuded. Birdlife devoured. End of forests,.

    That would be the inescapable consequence that ban1080 activists shy away from.

    • Martyn you said;

      “Brothers and sisters – we have 10 years to make fundamental change to the way we live and interact with our environment or else the planet will trip on feedback loops that will utterly destroy our global civilisation.”

      Yes Martyn,

      There is no time to loose as the government so slow to move on anything such as ‘climate change’ legislation we see now.

      So beginning a ‘meaningful change’ will only begin after we firstly see the parliament pass legislation now!!!!

      But it will appear to be slowly passed by 2020 at this rate.

      I am worried that time is not on our side and government is taking the slow lane now.

    • Broad generalisations can be a great expression of strong feelings, and often admirable ones.

      Cherry picking I think occurs from both sides of the debate including some of the so called ‘scientific” reports.

      In Wellington we have a sanctuary where no 1080 is used to control mammalian predators and wildlife appears to be flourishing creating a proliferation of native bird species into the outlying areas. Its an expensive exercise but one with results that that 1080 could not achieve.

      Other sanctuaries are found around NZ and no doubt more will be created.

      Apart from sanctuaries and 1080, what other measures are needing to be resources.

      • John W if you have any evidence of cherry-picking in scientific reports, then please produce it.

        What you have to say about the sanctuary in Wellington is not news. It’s feasible to control pest mammals in relatively small sanctuaries with bait-lines and traps, without resorting to 1080. This is well known. But are you putting your hand up to organize an army to control possums, rats and stoats in Fiordland or the Kaweka Range with bait-lines and traps?

        • Hmm perhaps you are not reading my posts.

          The matter of resourcing predator control is a massive issue.

          But lets keep options open about restoring the environment rather than hinging hopes on rationed use of 1080 prepared and distributed in the matter used at present.

          Our present economic system is the setting that may need changing if we are to seriously attempt to restore our damaged environment.

          • “But lets keep options open about restoring the environment rather than hinging hopes on rationed use of 1080 prepared and distributed in the matter used at present.”

            How do we restore the environment and keep pests under control without 1080? Serious question. What are your practical alternatives?

      • “In Wellington we have a sanctuary where no 1080 is used to control mammalian predators and wildlife appears to be flourishing creating a proliferation of native bird species into the outlying areas. Its an expensive exercise but one with results that that 1080 could not achieve.”

        John, you do realise that the Zealandia sanctuary you refer to is a relatively small space, with hard boundaries, and in a semi-urban setting on the outskirts of Wellington??

        You cannot transpose Zealandia to the harsh wilderness of the West Coast, Ureweras, Waitakeres, etc. I hope you understand the vast differences involved.

        No personal offence intended, but suggesting that we treat those areas like Zealandia is nonsensical.

        DoC is not using 1080 just to be bloody minded. There is serious science behind this strategy to control introduced pests that are otherwise uncontrollable. Give us a practical alternative, if you can, please.

    • I grew up on a farm in the Coromandel. I have a rough forestry block north of the town. Most of it is steep and rugged like much of forrest land in NZ. None of the Coromandel is in accessible to trappers , hunters or trampers except a few vertical faces that don’t need to be baited or trapped. They provide little sustenance for any creature.
      Helicopter assistance would help trappers and bait station service greatly , but to say that NZ is too inaccessible to allow access for trappers is not true. People have been all over it and do get all over it.Particularly where any bush grows. The gold prospectors didn’t leave much out. It’s a matter of cost only.
      D J S

      • When once the NZ governments paid rabbiters ( rabbit shooters ) full time to keep the rabbit populations down on farms, they no longer do so

        …now rural councils apply pressure on the farmer, if there is a rabbit problem, to have an aerial drop of 1080…blanket coverage over farms to kill rabbits

        …and because the farmer has to pay to keep rabbits down …an aerial drop of 1080 is the easiest cost effective option for the farmer . However many farmers still oppose 1080 because of cruelty and what they see it does to bird life, particularly the kea

        (of course since the calicivirus rabbit numbers have not been such a problem)

        imo 1080 poisoning is a systemic environmental disaster and an economic neolib ‘solution’….which is not really a solution at all for the environment, or native birds like the kea, which are being exterminated

    • “ every scrap of scientific data says 1080 breaks down quickly”
      Well Frank I suggest you actually read the scientific data.
      1080 can remain in carcasses for months, you are just simply wrong.

      “ The slower breakdown of 1080 in poisoned carcasses under certain conditions (e.g. cold, dry conditions), and the risks of secondary poisoning, have to be understood and managed following use of this toxin in conservation or as part of TB eradication programs. Poisoned possum carcasses can pose a risk to dogs even up to 75 days after the control operation. Lower, less hazardous concentrations have been found in deer bone marrow after 213 days.”

  4. I’ve never bought the line about water toxicity but you haven’t disproved jack -Crikey I think you’ve put the self righteousness on backwards.
    Starting with your Forest and Bird mate Kevin Hague who is about as pro 1080 as they come. For some reason the xtremist green view is being forced on the NZ public as what we need, when did the public get asked?

    You want to live in harmony with the environment by dropping a non selective poison all over it for ever.
    It’s Victorian Royal Forest and Bird thinking.
    I hope you read this the other day
    “Underpinning the continued reliance on aerial 1080 lies the ambitious goal of turning back the clock – of eliminating every single introduced rodent, mustelid and marsupial with the aim of making New Zealand “predator free”. While there is virtually unanimous agreement that our native flora and fauna deserve protection, the feasibility and costs of returning the country to a pre-European state are often overlooked.”

    “In fact, the logic behind being “predator free” requires closer examination. Is this nostalgic vision of returning the country “to what it once was” really what we need and want? Is it possible, and at what cost? If we are going to try to turn back the clock on introduced species, there needs to be consensus on how far back we want to go, and the methods of doing so need to be evaluated in more than just scientific terms.”

    “A lot of the anger and resentment stems from a feeling of absolute powerlessness and lack of meaningful engagement with what is happening in one’s backyard. People who live in a place are often deeply passionate about it in a wholly different way to someone who comes to visit once a year. While the visitor may prize the area for its chortling flocks of tui, the family down the road obtain their water, and possibly their food, from the same block of bush. There is a fundamental difference in perspective. When the helicopters laden with poison buzz over your backyard your water supply, meat safe and recreation ground are all potential targets.”

    Self righteous city dwelling do gooders ramming their ideology down everyone’s throats, what’s not to like.

    • +100…there needs to be a new Green Party ( this one is pathetic)

      …. or New Zealanders who really care about the environment, need to switch votes to NZF, which at least takes the issue of blanket 1080 poisoning over NZs landscapes seriously

      …people also need to take their money and support away from ‘Forest and Bird ‘ until it has a clean out of the pro -1080 hierarchy and spokespeople

      the pro-1080 poisoners of New Zealands landscapes and those supporting the killing extermination of NZs native birds , need to be exposed …and gone from their jobs …they are not protectors , quite the contrary

  5. Why isn’t more study going in to a possum contraceptive pill?
    Bait could be placed without any harm to anything else. The animals would never get bait shy and come for their meals every week as they learned the yummies would always be there at 7 AM every thursday or whatever. They just wouldn’t have any babies. Surely this couldn’t be hard to organise.
    D J S

    • Keeping up a regular supply of contraceptive pills to possums nationwide would pose the same problem as a nationwide trapping or bait-station program – a veritable standing army of workers would be required. And how many 21st century Kiwis would sign up for the lifestyle of a full-time trapper or bait-liner, working and probably living long-term in remote areas? Nowadays most of us are townies who like our creature comforts.

      What is more likely to replace 1080 at some stage in the future is gene editing to suppress reproduction of invasive mammals (and plants like wildling exotic conifers too). Here’s a useful introduction to the topic:

      You’ll be able to find plenty more papers on the topic too – a hot topic currently. Use google scholar to search for papers on “gene editing”, “gene drives” and “pest control”.

      But as this involves genetic modification, it’s also sure to be controversial.

      • I am sure an army of trappers and bait liners would arrive as fast as the opportunities for a reasonable payment , and some training obviously , became available . And what a boon it would be to the lives of the unemployed kids in the city to have the chance of spending time in the bush and getting paid for it. I would think many IWI would love the opportunity to get some of their young directionless kids into a job like that, learning some of the bushcraft that was their forbearer’s livelihood.
        There are no social downsides to addressing this problem this way, only laziness is directing the programme toward the arial topdressing approach, and a stupid approach to money. Money is a perfectly arbitrary concept. It is the only thing in the world that can be created out of absolutely nothing, at absolutely no cost, in unlimited quantities with no damage to the environment whatsoever.
        We need to use it to look after our society and our environment, not destroy our environment and our society to look after money.
        Cheers D J S

        • I would think many IWI would love the opportunity to get some of their young directionless kids into a job like that, learning some of the bushcraft that was their forbearer’s livelihood.

          Ah, I was wondering when the well-worn argument of “put the lazy benes to work” would rear it’s ugly head.

          For your information, David, you cannot put inexperienced people who’ve been mainly urban dwellers and most likely never seen a bush-clad mountain range up-close, into wilderness. You would be inviting trouble.

          I’m sure that’s not your intention.

          In my youth, when I was younger and fitter, I used to tramp through the Tararuas. It is not for the inexperienced, unfit, untrained. Our mountains can be unforegiving if one mistake is made. I invite you to look at the number of trampers who’ve come to grief over the years. It might cause you to reassess your view.

          • I did mention training Frank. It’s true that you can have accidents in the bush. But it’s also true that anyone interested can learn to work in that environment with reasonable safety, and with the effect of developing fitness and health, not to mention the enjoyment of time spent in that environment.
            There are dangers in the city too.
            D J S

  6. Who among us will be counted as worthy to be one of the 500,000,000 as shown on the Georgia Guidestones?
    Doesn’t anyone on this blog get it? We are the predators to be exterminated.

  7. How about a possum hybrid that can fly a plane and drop tons of sugar, booze and fags to the human population? Wipe us out. It’s clear to me that it’s us who are the problem.

  8. You have GOT to be kidding me!!!
    Horrified this blog is defending 1080
    If you had seen with your own eyes what this does and how persistent it can be – for shame!

    • … the killing of animals by 1080 poisoning is cruel in the extreme ( far more cruel than a quick bullet)

      …and it poisons whole ecosystems

      …and it exterminates native birds like the Kea, through secondary poisoning, so much so that many of New Zealands’ native birds are endangered

      • …and it poisons whole ecosystems

        In what way? How? What evidence do you have?

        If you were correct, our forests should be utterly devoid of all wildlife – native as well as introduced pests. This is clearly not the case. Your hyperbole is the best illustration yet why I find little credibility to the ban1080 cause.

  9. Nothing says Virtue Signalling like supporting aerial 1080 and sitting back with nice clean hands while condemning thousands of creatures to die, in endless repetition and feeling warm and fuzzy about how you are fitting in with the environment.
    Virtue Signalling level 2 (Sam) is to condemn these creatures to death, with clean hands, while simultaneously looking down your nose at hunters, trappers or those who do get their hands dirty in animal control.
    Greater hypocrisy hath no man.

    • Yeah, it’s about time for TDB to rehash this ancient topic of killing again.

      It makes sense for us to wage jihad against possums. They are dangerous to New Zealand’s ecology. They won’t stop devouring anything that’s green. And stoats won’t stop murdering anything that’s smaller than them.

      Having a no kill policy is fine for people in settings where the organs of the state is capable of securely jailing, imprisoning and segregating the problem. The problem with that is that A) The government imposes morality on others, when objectively genociding possums is a net benefit, and B) the capitalists entrepreneurs keep creating situations where killing metric tons of domesticated animals and therefore someone should just stop them.

      DOC doesn’t run into this problem a lot because the government are constrained by legal limitations, so a lot of pests don’t totally overwhelm New Zealand’s ecology, but trappers and hunters don’t have any restraint because pests are legal to hunt all year round. And that’s why we’ve got this endless debate.

    • +100 KEEPCALMCARRYON…well said

      It seems to me the so called recent crop of effete environmentalists are nothing like the old environmental New Zealanders….many of them aren’t even New Zealanders…nor do they frequent the bush , nor do they live rurally

      The old Maori were hunters and gatherers and the old Pakeha Europeans were hunters and gatherers, who learned from the Maoris

      ….they shared a love of New Zealands’ wild landscapes which is legendary and the subject of much New Zealand literature and poetry

      In those days men were real men ( and I say this as a feminist)…they could survive in the bush and provide for their families

      …they lived close to the elements and within New Zealands’ natural landscapes…they learned from the landscapes and it defined who they were as men and women…their New Zealand natural landscapes and mountains and special places ,were often indistinguishable from their identity.

      … they were humble men, quiet men ,ecologically spiritual and reverential men, but tough men.

      Today we have an effete elite of corporate and government egoists running the political environmental movement …a jolly band of know- it- alls who call themselves greenies and purportedly work for New Zealands forests and birds

      ….they often live in cities

      ….they are often vegetarians

      …they were often not born in New Zealand

      …they disparage hunting and fishing

      …they are disrespectful of and even despise hunters

      …they discount hunters’ bushman experience ,observations, empirical evidence of the ravages of 1080 poisoning

      • …they discount hunters’ bushman experience ,observations, empirical evidence of the ravages of 1080 poisoning

        Mainly because that “empirical evidence” is questionable, unsupported, and in a couple of instances outrightly fabricated. I can supply evidence to demonstrate that fabrication if you want, RB. (One of which were the dead birds and mice left on Parliament’s steps.)

      • As for your other gross generalisations about “a jolly band of know- it- alls who call themselves greenies”;

        ….they often live in cities (yes, I do)

        ….they are often vegetarians (no, I’m definitely not)

        …they were often not born in New Zealand (yes, I was)

        …they disparage hunting and fishing (hunting for pleasure? yes, I do. I find nothing remotely admirable about killing animals with high-powered weapons, from a distance. That is not “sport”. It is long distance killing for pleasure.)

        …they are disrespectful of and even despise hunters (for those who hunt for pleasure, and not to use for food, yes, I do)

        Hope that helps address your generalisations.

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