by Carol Sawyer

If you are not manufacturing Sodium Fluoroacetate, but only importing it, why do you need the chemicals used to make it? — Court Case postponed again yesterday

The case against the company Pest Control Research Ltd over the Bromley, Christchurch 1080 incident has been postponed for the FIFTH time since July 2020.

Are we expected to believe that chemicals were being processed in the Bromley warehouse leased by the Rolleston 1080-bait factory, PCR Ltd, (“processing chemicals” was stated in the original news story), but that despite the chemicals in the warehouse being the very ones used for manufacturing pure 1080, the company was NOT manufacturing pure 1080?

Unfortunately, in this news report Stuff has not made clear, or understood, the difference between importing 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) and storing the chemicals needed to make it! The question above should have been asked. As the article points out, manufacturing sodium fluoroacetate is not permitted in NZ. This building contained ethyl fluoroacetate, sodium hydroxide, and ethanol — the products needed to MANUFACTURE pure 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate). It also contained sodium fluoroacetate.

Quote from article:

The factory did not manufacture 1080, but stored the chemicals that could be used to make it. Manufacturing 1080 is not permitted in New Zealand but some companies, including PCR Ltd, have permission to make cereal bait from imported 1080.

How do Stuff know the factory was not manufacturing 1080? It appears that PCR Ltd have not been CHARGED with manufacture, which is not the same thing. Assumptions being made here.

Quote from article:

Company spokesman Steve Attwood previously told Stuff the Bromley site was “essentially a storage facility.” What the company was doing with the chemicals was “a commercially sensitive process of delivering good pest control products”, he said.” (What on earth does THAT mean?)

The accident happened nearly two years ago and yet Unit 1, 56 Wickham St, Bromley, Christchurch has still not been decontaminated and still apparently contains these highly hazardous chemicals, as a Hazchem sign was eventually placed on the building last year and remains there. The three other units under the same roof are all leased by other businesses, and an aquatic centre, where children learn to swim, is just metres away and shares the same drive-in entrance. The building is so hazardous that firemen have been forbidden to enter it in case of fire!

Today the Bromley court case was due to be heard at 10.00 am. After nearly two hours of other cases being heard it was again adjourned. Will it ever come to court? After WorkSafe NZ spent a year investigating this incident, charges were laid in June, 2020.The case was due to be heard in the Christchurch District Court in mid-July, 2020. It was postponed on the day. It was due to be heard on 19 August, 2020. It was again postponed on the day. It was due to be heard on 15 September, 2020. It was again postponed on the day. It was due to be heard on 2 December, 2020. It was postponed again on the day. It was due to be heard on 9 February 2021. It was postponed again. See the original story on WW.

After I contacted reporter Joanne Naish yesterday afternoon, and pointed out that just because the company is not being charged with manufacture does not necessarily mean they were NOT manufacturing, so should not be a statement of fact, she brought the question of manufacture to her editor’s attention. The editor has therefore made a tweak. This part now reads: “The company previously said it was not manufacturing 1080 at the Bromley warehouse, but was storing the chemicals that could be used to make it.”