Na­tion­wide h¯ıkoi protest 1080 use

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Hı¯koi which be­gan at op­po­site ends of the coun­try to protest the Gov­ern­ment’s use of 1080 plan a peace­ful protest at Par­lia­ment when they meet in six weeks’ time.

West Coast res­i­dent Al­lan Gur­den said he and friend Emille Leaf made a pact to march the length of New Zealand af­ter the last 1080 drop on the West Coast to raise aware­ness of ‘‘the Gov­ern­ment’s sys­tem­atic poi­son­ing of our coun­try’’.

Gur­den be­gan his ‘‘Hı¯koi of a Poi­soned Na­tion’’ with fel­low West Coast­ers Unuru Mur­phy, Phil Peter­son and Joe Ka­nara in Bluff last Fri­day, while Leaf left Cape Reinga on Thurs­day.

About 20 peo­ple be­gan the walk north from Bluff but only three were march­ing when the hikoi ar­rived in Gore yes­ter­day.

‘‘It’s a bit of an or­ganic thing, peo­ple are walk­ing with us for an hour or a day or what­ever they can man­age, Gur­den said.

‘‘We’ve had a heap of sup­port on the way. It’s not just a bunch of dirty hip­pies wor­ried about this. Heaps of truck­ies have honked their sup­port and we’ve been joined by a guy in his 70s who’s had two hip re­place­ments, and a doc­tor.’’

The De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion uses 1080 to con­trol preda­tors in na­tive forests.

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