Hero of the Week Award - Peter Dunne | The Jackal

8 Jun 2011

Hero of the Week Award - Peter Dunne

Yes! You heard right! Peter Dunne is our first Hero of the Week Award winner. I know we give Dunne a bit of stick... I mean who could go past the Bouffant or planking incident without throwing in a few jibes. For now, let’s put that aside. Let's also put aside the fact that he’s a right-wing politician that’s been supporting the corrupt National Government in their campaign against society. The Jackal believes in the benefits of giving credit where credit is due, so good on ya mate!

Not only has Peter Dunne come out strongly opposed to the barbaric practice of dropping huge amounts of 1080 poison into some of the most beautiful pristine bush areas in New Zealand (not to mention the world), He’s recently launched a clever campaign to gain people’s support for the very worthwhile cause. Having a champion is something that the “Stop 1080” campaign will definitely benefit from. Dunne has been on an environmental crusade against the poison for a while now, his convictions being largely ignored by mainstream media. So well done Dunne, I commend you for your green sentiments.

Unfortunately the cow cocky vote that the National Party pander to holds a lot of sway in this Country. Farmers like 1080 because they fear bovine tuberculosis, which is carried by possums. As far as they're concerned, their industry must be protected at all costs and sacrificing our native species and waterways is all part of the job.

So at the expense of all the other animals (including the Kiwi bird) that rely on a dynamic functioning ecosystem, the farming fraternity is happy to drop poison all over the place, much of it finding its way into our waters and much of it killing off our beautiful native species.

A report (PDF) was released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment saying that 1080 must not be banned. The Pest Control Education Trust (PCET), which was established by Federated Farmers and Forest & Bird quickly said the evaluation is “thorough and conclusive," after barely having time to read it.

This is something the Greens obviously agree with. In yet another release today titled "Dunne's proposal to ban 1080 unworkable," the Green Party confirmed that they do not support an outright ban on the extremely dangerous 1080 poison.

They appear to believe that the benefits from 1080 outweigh the well-documented adverse effects, which is an understandable position if you don’t comprehend the extent of damage being caused by the poison 1080. In my opinion, the Greens compromise to get a few extra traps should not have been made.

"As part of a memorandum of understanding with the National Government, the Green Party has established a $4 million pilot project that will trial promising new resetting traps.

If successful, the resetting traps will reduce the costs of pest control and the reliance on poisons like 1080 in areas accessible for ground-based trapping," the Green Party said.

Back in the day, the Jackal used to trap possums in the South Island, so it’s a subject I have some knowledge on. Further measures to trap the troublesome little critters is a good move, but the fact that the Green’s believe there are inaccessible areas in New Zealand that do not allow for trapping possums makes me wonder if they and the reports authors even bothered to talk with anybody who has knowledge on the subject at all?

It’s simply a lazy cop out to say that 1080 is a viable option because places are inaccessible… All areas where possum populations reside are accessible to humans. For a falsehood to be provided as a viable excuse for the continued poisoning of our environment is not acceptable. Especially when they're meant to represent green ideals in protecting the environment. On the back of not completely ruling out National as a viable coalition partner, this is a silly move that will cost the Greens votes.

The truth of the matter is that there are not enough trappers anymore. So where is the Governments plan to train people in one of the first professions seen in New Zealand? The hollow victory in this story is that National wont be following the reports recommendations and increasing the use of 1080. New Zealand already has 3500 tonnes of the poison dumped on the countryside each year as it stands.

Continuing such an environmentally destructive practice just because the viable alternative is more financially costly is not a good enough excuse. The environmental benefit in stopping 1080 should far outweigh any budget limitations, which the Government is ignorantly imposing to the detriment of our unique wildlife and environment.

Today, Peter Dunne made a number of press releases on his website:

So well done Mr Dunne, you presently seem to be Greener than the Greens.