A planned aerial drop of 1080 this month in the East Kaweka Ranges in Hawke's Bay has locals worried. They say the consultation from OSPRI has been extremely poor. Some even fear the poison could be detrimental to their livelihoods.
A public meeting on a 1080 drop was held today but OSPRI didn't want to be filmed.
Local tourism operator Marlene Skeet says, "Unfortunately as soon as Māori TV came through the door Ospri stopped them.”
According to locals, it's supposed to be a meeting to inform the public.
Geraldine Edmonds from the Hawkes Bay Pig Hunters Club told Te Kāea, “What they said was they have been told that they have to do it and that's the end of the story.”
Kaiweka hunter Stephen Healy says, “They haven't really been consulted there's been an attempt at consultation but from our meeting tonight it's obvious that consultation has been woefully inadequate.”
Locals say it's an aerial drop on over 15,600 hectares of forest in the East Kaweka Ranges this month to eradicate possums, known carriers of bovine tuberculosis (TB).
Concerned resident Charles Cadwallader says the justification for the drop is questionable.
“Well, I think the main concern is that at no point during the evening did anybody prove that there was a requirement for this operation to take place in Kaweka. They were asked to prove that there was TB in the park and there was none.”
The area has not received pest control from OSPRI before and many locals aren't convinced it's needed.
Guy Te Kahika from Hastings Deer Stalkers says, “They'll have to come up with some other form probably ground trapping that's been proven in the past as we had some old trappers here tonight and it can be done over a period of time.”
Te Kāea requested an interview with OSPRI, but they did not respond.