'It was an act of theatre' - 1080 activist on dead birds at Parliament
A Ban 1080 activist has denied killing any of the native birds that were scattered across Parliament's steps by children in a protest over the use of the pesticide.
Parliament's Speaker Trevor Mallard yesterday revealed five native birds were among those placed on the precinct - including two kererū which appear to have been bludgeoned to death.
He has laid a complaint with the police and the Department of Conservation (DOC). It is illegal to kill or possess native wildlife.
One of the protest's leaders Alan Gurden told RNZ none of the creatures had been harmed by the protesters.
"They were dead creatures.... we're not the sort of people to go round killing birds to make a point."
The quail and weka were roadkill, but the other birds and mice had been collected from a 1080 drop-zone, he said.
"These animals were all killed from various methods but it certainly was not at the hand of us.... It was an act of theatre designed to show New Zealand what we put up with on the frontline."
He said the carcasses had been given to one of his friends to store after they were collected from drop-zones or from the roadside.
"I'm not going to divulge my source, but someone else brought those to the scene. They were laid on the steps by the children," Mr Gurden said.
"So technically I have never owned, or had in my possession, any native birds."
Mr Gurden refused to name his friend who stored the birds, but said there was "no way" he would have killed them.
"I've known him for quite a while. He's on the same cause as me and he has the same kaupapa as me," he said.
"There's no way he'd go out and kill birds to prove a point."
Mr Gurden said he had not been contacted by the police or DOC. In a statement, police said inquiries were ongoing.
Anti-1080 activists wielding placards and loudspeakers marched to Parliament over the weekend demanding an end to the use of the poison.
A vast array of conservation and farming organisations support the use of 1080, describing it is an effective pest control tool.
Main Image: Protestors advanced beyond the barricade towards Parliament House to throw green imitation 1080 pellets at its doors and placed dead birds on the steps. Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox