by Carol Sawyer

Well, well, well… after all these years, and of the many and varied scenarios we all imagined could bring an end to this scourge on New Zealand, how many of us thought it would be a PANDEMIC?

I am 99% certain this will be the end of our government dropping tonnes of 1080 poison on our land… it was dumped on around two million hectares in this past year alone, and they have been dropping 1080 poison from the skies since 1954!

I believe the reason the Waitutu Forest and the Princess Mountains in Fiordland were aerially 1080 poisoned over 11-12 March 2020, instead of between April and June (with April being the earliest date stated in the Dept of Conservation pesticide summary), is that the government knew that once Covid-19 takes hold the People will not tolerate millions of dollars being spent on pouring poison out of helicopters when the country is in economic meltdown, a situation from which it will take a long time to recover.

Once it is seen how impossible it is for our underfunded health system to cope with the virus, and once poverty levels have risen dramatically, do you think people will sit still for millions of dollars being spent on 1080 poison and its concomitant gravy train?!

The Dept of Conservation’s aerial 1080 poison programme, Predator Free NZ, Zero Invasive Predators, and their ilk are “vanity projects”, for want of a better word. When Covid-19 is over, New Zealand will not be the same country and the world will not be the same world.

It is my belief that the days of aerial 1080 poison are ended. DoC may have one last blast somewhere, but it’s doubtful.

Photos by Carol Sawyer:


Kepler Mountains aerial 1080 poison operation, 2016


Makarora aerial 1080 poison operation, 2017

Makarora 2

Makarora aerial 1080 poison operation, 2019

We’re not as optimistic as Carol given the amount of official secrecy and misinformation that has been indulged in over the years. Once the government’s coffers are bare and its debt has escalated, there will be a rethink of priorities about what is needed and what is wasteful, however.–Eds