UCLA objects to indiscriminate dumping of aerial poison 1080 …

by Reihana Robinson (UCLA spokesperson)

Upper Coromandel Landcare Association (UCLA) members are kaitiaki whenua around Moehau in the northern Coromandel and further south. 

Those who affiliate to UCLA are opposed to a long-held goal of the Department of Conservation (DoC) and the Moehau Environmental Group (MEG)  to construct a barrier they call a pest proof fence that would enclose all who farm, fish, work and holiday north of this steel barrier.

They oppose the use of 1080 poison and all residual poisons. They do support the hunting of wild kai. 

UCLA is NOT a registered charity as it does not apply for funding. All conservation work is voluntary.

Groups out of touch with the wishes of the public

At the February 2022 community board meeting recent immigrants (who are part of highly funded groups MEG and Predator Free Hauraki) revealed how out of touch they are with public sentiment in our ward, going so far as to wish the Coromandel-Colville Community Board (CCCB) align with government policy and embrace the use of inhumane residual poisons especially toxin 1080. 

Quite a remarkable request given the Board policy is merely symbolic. The CCCB have no control over poison-use. 

UCLA objects to indiscriminate dumping of aerial poison 1080 and also opposes MEG placing poison-1080 and other residual poisons in our backyards.

(There is of course a slender chance that the poison promoters at the meeting would also not wish to have this poison that has no antidote in their own backyards.)

MEG well-funded but not achieving its objectives 

However we can look in the archives and learn that MEG did not always use inhumane poisons. MEG’s Pete Buddle wrote to DoC’s Alistair Fairweather on 24 September 2003 explaining “encapsulated cyanide is the toxin most acceptable to most landowners up here” but the letter continues with a request for information regarding a list of nine poisons including warfarin, racumin (coumatetralyl) diphacinone. 

This means that prior to 2003 MEG was just like UCLA. Only cyanide being used as a poison as it was “most acceptable to most landowners”.

What went haywire? All we can find is that money has conditions. (See job descriptions for Predator Free NZ.) MEG has now received millions of tax and ratepayer funds with little accountability. Their first big funding application to the Biodiversity Fund in 2003, added up to $571,363. The application declared MEG would achieve a “predator-proof fence across the width of the peninsula” by 2005/6”.  By ‘Year 6’ they were to have built “a self-funding infrastructure.”

So no steel barrier, no self-funding infrastructure—as far as we can ascertain given the ongoing requests for public funding. Was the money returned?

We find we must once again remind all conservationists that we wish to kaitiaki together using humane wild animal control.

Widespread support for the anti-poison message

As a result of this appearance of pro-poison community members, UCLA has heard from supporters far and wide. Locals from Waikawau, Tuateawa, Port Jackson highway, Port Charles, 309, Coromandel town, and from further afield, Kuaoutunu and Great Barrier Island, Northland, Australia and the USA. 

They share support for both the Coromandel Colville Community Board and UCLA. 

We understand that an organization representing more than 70 residents has sent support to the Chair of the Community Board.

Here as an example from the letter UCLA received from the national Science Team at SPCA. 

“SPCA advocates that management activities should only use methods of population control that minimize negative impacts to any animal, are target-specific, and with clear, achievable objectives that are monitored. SPCA opposes the use of methods of population control or management of wild animals that lead to prolonged death and suffering of target or non-target animals.” 

The definitive goal of UCLA

We share a finite world. Let’s try to improve it for the next generation.

Kia Manawanui (Have patience.)