Dr Nick Smith
Wellington, Sunday, February 26, 2017
New regulations have been approved under the Resource Management Act that provide a national approach to the use of poisons like 1080 and brodifacoum.
Pests like stoats, rats and possums kill 25 million native birds a year, and if we are serious about ensuring the survival of species like Kiwi, we need to use effective and efficient poisons like 1080.
This new approach standardises the rules for using such poisons rather than the current system of different rules in different regions.
This change will reduce costs and delays for operators, ensure consistent conditions throughout the country, reduce mistakes from misunderstanding rule differences and allow best practice approaches to be used.
The change will not increase any of the risks around the use of these poisons, which are effectively managed by the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.
It is expected to save $11 million over the next 20 years, enabling more pests to be controlled and more species saved.
This change was advocated for by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, who was concerned about the duplication and inconsistency of the differing regional rules. The proposal was consulted on last year, with 70 per cent of submissions favouring the change. The new national regulations come into effect on 1 April 2017.
I know there is opposition to poisons like 1080 and brodifacoum but they are essential tools to saving New Zealand’s natural heritage. Islands like Tiritiri Matangi are only so prolific in birdlife because of the use of these poisons in the past.
These new regulations will help us create more special sanctuaries for the future and contribute to the government’s goal of a Predator-Free New Zealand by 2050.
Further information on the regulation is available at www.mfe.govt.nz
Dr Nick Smith is Environment Minister of New Zealand. The above is a part of a speech that he made at National’s Bluegreen Forum in Auckland yesterday.