Smith de­fends 1080 ap­proach

Newslink - - NEWS - By EVAN HARD­ING

En­vi­ron­ment South­land has copped flak for fail­ing to con­sult with the pub­lic be­fore al­low­ing the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion to dump 1080 poi­son in the Waikaia for­est, North­ern South­land.

En­vi­ron­ment South­land has granted DOC non-no­ti­fied con­sents so it can spread 1080 poi­son in the Waikaia for­est in North­ern South­land and in parts of the Fiord­land Na­tional Park.

Anti 1080 Party founder Bill Wal­lace ar­gued the con­sents should be no­ti­fied so the South­land com­mu­nity had the chance to ex­press their views be­fore a de­ci­sion was made.

The non-no­ti­fied con­sents were "con­trary to the pur­pose of the Re­source Man­age­ment Act and it is ap­palling that [Con­ser­va­tion Min­is­ter] Nick Smith and the Na­tional Govern­ment al­low the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion to mis­use the RMA [Re­source Man­age­ment Act] in this way", he said.

Smith said it was a "non­sense" the Govern­ment was not com­ply­ing with the act.

‘‘If he re­ally be­lieves that, he should test it be­fore the courts.’’

He said re­gional coun­cils had the choice of con­sult­ing the pub­lic be­fore grant­ing DOC con­sent to spread 1080 on forests in their re­gions in com­ing months.

The rea­son many coun­cils chose not to con­sult was that they al­ready had rules es­tab­lished for the use of 1080 and the time de­lays and po­ten­tial ap­peals would make the op­er­a­tions in­ef­fec­tive, he said.

‘‘If a con­sent is no­ti­fied, it’s likely to take at least four months to process and, if ap­pealed, it could take two to three years . . . by which time the rats and stoats would have left a waste­land of our na­tive birds.’’

En­vi­ron­ment South­land con­firmed it had granted DOC con­sent to use 1080 to tar­get pos­sums and rats in the for­est and parts of Fiord­land Na­tional Park.

‘‘This has been granted as un­der the Re­gional Wa­ter Plan for South­land, this ac­tiv­ity is a con­trolled ac­tiv­ity. This means that the ap­pli­ca­tion must be granted by coun­cil.’’

The con­sent was not no­ti­fied be­cause DOC had al­ready con­sulted with all rel­e­vant af­fected par­ties, En­vi­ron­ment South­land said.

Photo: JENNY CAMP­BELL 629710313

Sweet treat: South­ern REAP tu­tor An­gela Richard­son helps Kody Aitken, 12, and Scott Rush­ton, 12, with their lolly cake recipe at the hol­i­day course in Lums­den last week.

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