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A reassurance from the Department of Conservation (DOC) that there has been no change in policy over the use of 1080 poison is welcome, National’s Conservation Spokesperson Maggie Barry says.

“At today’s annual review the Director General, Lou Sanson, reassured the Environment Select Committee that not only has there been no change in 1080 policy, but DOC expects to expand its use.

“This approach is critical to achieving National’s long term Predator-Free NZ by 2050 vision. Possums, rats and stoats kill 25 million birds a year, and if DOC was hamstrung from using 1080, we would see further unique species becoming extinct.

“Anti-1080 campaigners will be furious with New Zealand First after today’s revelations given the Party campaigned on banning 1080 yet is now part of a Government that is endorsing and expanding its use.

“This is just another example of New Zealand First and Winston Peters reneging on their election commitments.

“New Zealand First needs to stop playing politics when it comes to the survival of New Zealand’s native species and acknowledge that 1080 is an essential part of the toolkit for ensuring the survival of our ironic birds like kiwi, kaka and kokako.

“Mr Sanson did, however, emphasise that DOC needs a social license to continue this approach and we acknowledge that.

“It’s also extremely concerning to hear of the number of incidences of violence and threats carried out towards DOC staff by the anti-1080 lobby and we support any measure to combat those.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate DOC on the progress staff and rangers are making towards their ambitious 2025 ‘stretch goals’.

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