At last, a council strong enough and with the courage to take on the mighty 1080 machine within New Zealand. Taupo District Council have passed a resolution calling for a sustainable alternative to the highly toxic pesticide 1080 (chemical name sodium fluoroacetate) and for all aerial dropping to cease:
That the Taupo District Council, in accordance with the Section 10b of the Local Government Act 2002, advocate with central government and appropriate agencies, viz:
a. To develop a sustainable alternative possum eradication and trapping programme.
b. For the abolition of all aerial dropping of 1080 poison forthwith.
In their press release the council said
"Taupo District Council will advocate to central government to stop the aerial dropping of 1080 forthwith and to find a sustainable alternative to the use of 1080 poison to eradicate possums.
The vote was close but the resolution was greeted with applause from the small crowd present at Wednesday’s (30th September) SPO council meeting.
The decision* has been awaited with interest with attendance at recent meetings in Turangi and Taupo drawing people from far and wide. Today’s meeting was accompanied by a small but vocal group of anti-1080 protestors with placards on Lake Terrace.
Mayor Rick Cooper stressed it was the method of delivery which caused him the most concern “we need to stop the aerial bombardment by helicopters dumping 1080 indiscriminately over large tracts of land. This method is uncontrolled and the risk to the environment and our waterways is too great – we understand 1080 will be used until the powers find and fund a more sustainable method of eradicating possums but aerial dropping must be stopped forthwith.” He said the Council are very grateful to all of those who have taken the time to present their views and arguments to Council which has allowed Council to make a very well informed decision.
Clr Don Ormsby - Chairman of the TT CBD who put the motion to the vote says “It is good to see that the commitment of a small but passionate community can make a difference and I would like to congratulate the Taupo District Council for listening to its communities and taking this bold stand. I know people who have been trying to do something about 1080 for forty years and if we don’t stand up for them who will?”
The debate on the aerial dropping of 1080 was triggered by the Turangi-Tongariro Community Board which was reacting to concerns from their community about the indiscriminate dropping of 1080 poison baits to eradicate possums. Clr Gary Keepa said there is clear evidence of indiscriminate dropping of 1080 in the Turangi area which he was against."
Council tasked Clr Ormsby to take the lead on this issue and stipulated that there should be no undue burden of cost to the ratepayers."
Good for them we say, we hope more councils follow their lead and put an end to the widespread use of this toxin within New Zealand.
See also "Dept of Conservation and the 1080 Fraud": Link