12 Sep 2018

Environment Minister David Parker has a run-in with 1080 protesters

5:11 pm on 12 September 2018

Protesters have biffed fake 1080 pellets all over Parliament's steps and scattered dead birds, as their campaign to ban the poison continues.

Men in HAZMAT outfits pick up 1080 look-alike pallets

Men in HAZMAT outfits pick up 1080 look-alike pallets Photo: RNZ/ Gia Garrick

A large and loud protest on the weekend has continued this week in Wellington with chalk drawings all over Parliament's entranceways today.

It escalated this afternoon with men in HAZMAT outfits having to pick up the 1080 look-alike pellets, which were strewn over the steps on the forecourt.

Alan Gurdon and his fellow protester ate some of the pellets to prove they were fake.

"We wouldn't throw 1080 around and endanger the public like our government does. So we put fake 1080 on the steps, and dead bodies that have been killed, dead birds and mice that have been killed by 1080, brought here from the West Coast to present to these politicians," he said.

Mr Gurdon said he had lost three dogs to the 1080 poison, he had been poisoned twice, his wife had been poisoned and his son was poisoned in the womb because 1080 got into the water they drank as a result of a government-ordered 1080 drop.

He wanted 1080 banned for good.

Environment Minister David Parker went out to see what was going on, running into the protesters.

He tried to explain himself and the uses and benefits of 1080 poisons, before acknowledging it was unlikely he'd have any luck convincing them of anything today.

"There is a disagreement between you and other people who have a different view of the science..." he began.

"Everyone's entitled to their view, but what's wrong with hearing the truth?" retorted Mr Gurdon.

"If what you do is so morally, ethically and legally right, what are you people scared of? Come on!"

This was happening at the same time the rest of Parliament's politicians were running the media gauntlet ahead of Question Time.

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson told reporters the ban-1080 protesters have valid concerns.

"They're concerned about water and they're concerned about aerial drops. We need to keep having considered conversations about saving our forests, our birds and our native species.

"It's not the strategy or tactics I'd use, but they are trying to be heard and we need to keep listening."

National Party leader Simon Bridges said protesting was incredibly important, but it needed to be done lawfully.

"I think things that involve acts of throwing, of possible violence, leaving things that have to be cleaned up... that probably over-steps the mark."

Mr Parker said he will now be getting the poisoned animals - including a kereru - tested, to see if they did die from ingesting 1080 on the West Coast.

"I think people should comply with the law, we've had to have people out here in protective gear because they weren't sure whether it was fake or not," he said.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs