1 Aug 2008

Poison packages delivered to government agencies

6:09 pm on 1 August 2008

Two more suspicious packages have been delivered to Government agencies in Wellington on Friday, believed to contain 1080 poison.

Emergency services were called to the Ministry of Defence in Lambton Quay and the Ministry of Economic Development in Bowen Street, central Wellington.

Police say the substance in the packages contained green pellets, thought to be 1080 poison. Both packages are being tested.

Previous deliveries were made in June to the offices of the Ministry of Health on Molesworth Street, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Reserve Bank and the Parole Board.

Three others have been reported in Nelson. All were sent in envelopes with a note saying 1080 poison was enclosed.

Council staff using bodyguards

Council staff carrying out a possum control programme on the West Coast are now doing their job with personal bodyguards.

Security guards were flown to Greymouth after protests over the use of 1080 poison escalated.

Two weeks ago, an Animal Health Board worker's pet dog was poisoned. At the time the board's West Coast Manager, Chris Pullen, said he feared the protests were getting out of hand.

Mr Pullen now says there are now two or three guards on duty at each site, where six to 10 people are working.

All board personnel have also been advised to be personally vigilant in regard to their pets.

DoC to continue 1080 drops

The Department of Conservation says it will not stop drops of 1080 poison in the Fox Glacier area, even though the poison has killed several native birds.

DoC has confirmed the poison has killed seven keas this year.

It says more kea will be tracked to find out how to prevent further deaths. It says 1080 prevents pests such as possums wiping out 40% of the bird's population

DoC says there are still hundreds of kea in the Fox Glacier area.