10 Aug 2018

Great Barrier locals protest onboard DOC boat

4:15 pm on 10 August 2018

Protesters who climbed onboard a Department of Conservation boat on Great Barrier Island this morning were escorted off by police but not arrested.

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Photo: 123RF

The boat was said to be carrying poison cereal pellets for today's aerial drop on the island of Rakitū, northeast of Great Barrier.

Aotea Poison Free spokesperson Elise Bishop, who lives on Great Barrier, said the department has to give the local board 48 hours notice of a poison drop but this didn't happen.

She says six people were at the port when two of them took action.

"We boarded the Department of Conservation boat at Port Fitzroy and sat on the bow of the boat and they called the police and we had ... 12 police for the six of us come down and remove us from the boat."

A DOC spokesperson said the boat was not carrying cereal pellets containing brodifacoum as part of a plan to rid Rakitū of rats, and was not required to give the local board 48 hours notice.