16 July 2013

Lack of action on pest control disappointing – Environment Commissioner

Two years on from her report backing greater use of 1080 for pest control, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright has expressed her disappointment that little has changed.

The comments come as an update of the original report is released that assesses the response to the recommendations she made in 2011.

Dr Wright says time is running out for native species on the mainland.

"There are three predators that are inflicting enormous damage on our native birds and plants – possums, rats, and stoats. The only way we can control them over large areas is to use 1080. We are lucky to have it

"When I released my report two years ago I called for greater use of 1080 because I was extremely concerned about the future of kiwi and other native birds.

"Currently the Department of Conservation is spending more on research into 1080 and its alternatives than it is on actually using it.

"While I'm happy this research is being done, I would like to see more money being spent on frontline pest control.

"While I am heartened by the public support for a pest-free New Zealand there is no way that it could currently be achieved without 1080. I will continue to recommend its use is increased."

Dr Wright's new update is available here. The original report is available here.