Eco-tox­ins

Marlborough Express - - COMMENT&OPINION -

A poi­son drop for Nel­son’s Brook Sanc­tu­ary has been con­tro­ver­sial but it’s noth­ing to do with 1080. In­stead the poi­son is brod­i­fa­coum. It’s prop­er­ties are not widely known.

Brook Sanc­tu­ary Trust gen­eral man­ager Hud­son Dodd said ‘‘the poi­son will be bro­ken down over weeks—once the bait is bro­ken down, the sanc­tu­ary will be opened.’’

It should be a long wait for the ‘‘with­hold­ing pe­riod’’ is 144 weeks, 36 months, in other words three years - ac­cord­ing to the former Food and Safety Author­ity now part of MPI. 1080’s with­hold­ing pe­riod is about six months which means brod­i­fa­coum is six times more lethal than 1080.

Brod­i­fa­coum takes three weeks to kill and via rat poi­son is in the Marl­bor­ough Sounds food chain. Con­se­quently wild pigs from there are not ‘‘saleable’’. Be­cause of its cruel slow killing na­ture, residue­car­ry­ing an­i­mals in the three weeks, might wan­der long dis­tances. So the ‘‘buf­fer zone’’ around a poi­soned brod­i­fa­coum area is 15 kilo­me­tres com­pared to 1080’s 2km.

It is very ques­tion­able if the Brook Sanc­tu­ary group un­der­stands the ex­tremely lethal na­ture of brod­i­fa­coum. But then En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Nick Smith does not ei­ther. ‘‘Smith’s Dream’’ of a Preda­tor Free NZ 2050 by us­ing eco-tox­ins is ridicu­lously un­re­al­is­tic, unattain­able, ecode­struc­tive and an ir­re­spon­si­ble waste of public money. long enough to see them ma­ture. But that’s OK. My grand­chil­dren and great-grand­chil­dren will see the trees full size – if Ronga Re­serve is looked af­ter and re­spected.

The Bad was Mon­day’s story ( Ex­press, Septem­ber 11) about the de­struc­tion of a beau­ti­ful wet­land for com­mer­cial pur­poses. The $25,000 fine is prob­a­bly peanuts to a big com­mer­cial en­ter­prise. So the MEXis to be praised for get­ting this busi­ness to the public’s at­ten­tion. Marl­bor­ough has just a few pre­cious pock­ets of orig­i­nal land­scape: Ona­ma­lutu, Grove­town La­goon and Ronga Re­serve to name three.

The Ugly is that peo­ple with power think of Marl­bor­ough as com­mer­cial be­fore beau­ti­ful. Mon­day’s story about the Wairau Val­ley wet­land high­lights the des­per­ate need for a change of mind­set on the part of the movers and shak­ers be­fore it’s too late. What goes around comes around. Gov­ern­ments to pro­tect con­sumers by en­sur­ing com­pli­ance with New Zealand Stan­dards.

Lack of re­spect for the min­i­mum re­quire­ments of NZS3640:2003 for durable fram­ing has been a re­cur­ring prob­lem since the leaky build­ing cri­sis changed New Zealand Stan­dards in 2003 when the Gov­ern­ment ap­proved in­tro­duc­tion of per­ish­able un­treated fram­ing in 1995 was re­versed by public pres­sure. This lack of re­spect for a New Zealand Stan­dard has given rise to scan­dals, law­suits, coverups, poor sci­ence for hire and more than one Com­merce Com­mis­sion en­quiry. The un­der­ly­ing prob­lem of poor Gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tion and the demise of ro­bust in­de­pen­dent sci­en­tific over­sight is un­re­solved.

Con­sumers need not worry too much about hav­ing used non­com­pli­ant fram­ing, again, but per­haps they should worry about Gov­ern­ments that re­peat­edly fail to call a spade a spade, fail to main­tain min­i­mum stan­dards in home con­struc­tion, fail to pro­tect the rep­u­ta­tion of an im­por­tant re­new­able re­source, and al­lows big busi­ness and for­eign in­ter­ests to com­pro­mise New Zealan­ders.

PHOTO: EVAN ROBIN­SON

Vol­un­teers help plant na­tives at Ronga Re­serve.

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