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Government agency walks out of Wanaka 1080 meeting over "safety concerns"

  • by Eileen Goodwin :
  • Jun 1,2018

The agency that organised last night's 1080 public consultation meeting in Wanaka says that their staff left the meeting over "safety concerns" adding that many audience members involved were from "outside the region."

Ospri, which is a partnership between the Government and the farming sector, issued a statement to Crux which provides an explanation to why their team abandoned the public meeting which was attended by a 1080 protest group from Luggate.

"The OSPRI team hosted the info evening in Wanaka for genuinely affected people to find out more about the Alice Burn East TBfree operation.
The meeting had been advertised, people were aware of the event and OSPRI was happy with the turnout.
The format of a drop-in event was chosen over a public meeting to allow for better consultation. Previous public meetings have been dominated by a vocal minority and we received complaints from genuinely affected people that they could not be heard.
The team took the call to leave the info event early last night for the safety of the staff.
We're disappointed that many of the people who attended last night we're (sic) from outside the region and that our staff had to leave because they were concerned for their safety.
We encourage anyone who believes they are genuinely affected to get in touch."

Source: Cameron Williamson , Ospri Senior Communications Advisor cameron.williamson@ospri.co.nz

The Luggate 1080 protest group had complained that the meeting format did not allow proper consultation which is why they organised their own seating into a group setting rather than the "drop in" format set up by Ospri.

Read the original Crux story here.

Watch: Ospri video on their pest eradication programme.

 Main image credit: Ospri

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Comments

  • Sharn Nu'u : 16/08/2018 12:32pm (2 months ago)

    I think it's horrible that our people are being manipulated to believe that possums are the reason there is TB in NZ, or that possums are killing our native wildlife.
    I also think it is disgusting that DOC do not advise our tourists of the full implications of 1080. They drink out of the streams where 1080 has been aerially dropped, and research shows that in the alpine areas, 1080 is not soluble in water.
    There are people in NZ that have lived off the land for food and water for generations who are having to relearn how to survive.
    1080 is being dropped to clear the land to allow for more farming and mining!

  • Jennifer Rumore : 07/06/2018 4:45pm (4 months ago)

    I would like to see 1080 drops halted altogether, following suit in NZ as MANY other countries have done with excellent reasons, to ban this poison. If that just cannot be accomplished (although there is no tangible reason why), I require as a human right to clean air, water, and food that the 1080 drop postponed until such time as OSPRI shows up and stays for the meeting they left. It is NOT okay to poison our water, land and people.

  • Cherilyn Walthew : 01/06/2018 7:04pm (5 months ago)

    I was at the meeting and it looked to me like the vast majority were locals with maybe 4-5 out of towners who were incredibly knowledgeable about a range of facts. Thanks so much for coming. After OSPRI left, it was good to get at least some information about the health effects of 1080 and an honest account of TB in possums.
    I found OSPRI staff to be uncooperative and refused to tell me who they were. They seemingly were only informed on their own areas which made it incredibly difficult to have questions answered. Better to have all staff members in one place and the relevant person answer the question.
    Given the proximity of the drop to residential houses and the threat of dust drift from an aerial operation, I find it shocking they refused to answer questions in the format that was most efficient to get information to all of the attendees. This is a deadly toxic poison and people are justifiably concerned after last years debacle.
    The staff were dressed like bouncers from the 90's and acted on a "need to know basis" rather than an open and honest discussion.
    After the meeting I was threatened with trespass from outside the building in the car park and when I refused to leave public land because I was in the middle of a conversation, I was asked why did I need to argue and turn it into a big deal?......... I wasn't! Seems they were spoiling for a fight but, I wasn't interested. I believe this was the same guy who tried to stop us getting chairs and physically blocked our way.
    I just wanted answers and it seems that's something they won't tolerate!

  • hikuwai drifter : 01/06/2018 6:01pm (5 months ago)

    Having been at the meeting last night. I must say it was a most informative evening.

    Seeing a group of peaceful, community minded and health conscious people express their concerns to Phil Hunt, the only 1080 proponent with enough balls to stick around the meeting. Phil had no fear for his safety, and rightly so. There was a meeting held with peaceful, knowledgeable, concerned men and women, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, kuia and kaumatua and children from our community and the wider Otago community.

    Phil fielded many questions and presented as much information as he was able. There were many questions that he could not answer, due to lack on knowledge. Had OSPRI employees stuck around they could have answered these.

    When faced with an educated audience it is gutless and cowardice that a professional outfit fear for their safety. The people there are not armed, no guns seemed to be visible, were they to pull out a bottle 1080 contaminated water?

    But in all seriousness, OSPRI are using spin to cop out of facing up to the fact that they operate UNLAWFULLY and are using false data and false evidence that has been proven time and again by many people that are working hard to end the poisoning of our Waterways and Landscapes.

    It was revealed to me at the meeting that 1080 poison does not break down in cold water, out lakes and rivers are not warm, there is no way that 1080 "biodegrades" or can biodegrade in our climate, creating the room for secondary poisoning from our drinking water. Soon to be broadcast upon Lake Hawea, contaminating the community water supply. This is a major concern for our communities health.

    I for one DO NOT CONSENT to the use of 1080 poison in our local environment, nor any environemnt for that matter.

    I am glad that the whole meeting was filmed and the people have evidence of OSPRI's wrong doing and lies.