Māori landowners take bid to prevent 1080 drop back to court

Source: Te Karere

A long-running battle to stop the aerial drop of 1080 over a Māori land block called Tataraakina in Tarawera, northern Hawke’s Bay, is back in the Māori Land Court.

Concerned landowners are worried over the environmental impact of 1080 and want an alternative method used instead, such as a completely land-based operation using traps.

At their last AGM, a majority of landowners voted against a 1080 drop on their whenua.

"We went through the process, it was upheld in our favour, and the court has chosen to overturn that result, so that's the reason why we're here in court today," Nigel Baker told Te Karere. 

Grace Campbell said possum hunting was hard work, but achieveable, and would provide employment opportunities.

"I think our rangitahi and up and coming tamariki are capable of it, they just need to be introduced to it."

Court documents show that Ospri, the entity that carries out the 1080 drops and works to manage animal disease, has identified a bovine tuberculosis outbreak which it suspects is coming from the 14,000ha Tataraakina block.

It argues 1080 is the best way to avoid ongoing TB risk to the farming and local communities.

A court had previously heard ground-based eradication efforts in the area would cost more than $22 million over 10 years.

An aerial programme would cost $2 million.

Two previous court actions to stop 1080 drops have failed. 

Campbell is concerned about its effects.

"It's not good for our whenua, it's not good for our tamariki or our mokopuna or anybody, our owners and I speak as an owner."