The Kiwi Party states, in their Family Policy, that they would “ban aerial application of 1080”.
This is a very well-intentioned policy, 1080 is far from perfect and many people would like it banned. However, what do they propose to replace it? You can’t just ban the most effective method of possum control we have without proposing an alternative – the effect on the bush from increased possum numbers could be far worse than the current damage caused by dropping 1080.
I challenge The Kiwi Party to either come up with a practical, cost-effective alternative policy to aerial application of 1080 and propose this as a replacement, or to drop their policy to ban 1080.
Environmental policy must be practical, affordable, and actually help our environment. This policy does not satisfy these criteria.
Rather, this sounds like an emotive policy sub-point designed to attract votes, even though it is impractical, and Kiwi may have no intention of ever putting it in place, knowing that as a minor party they won’t achieve every policy they announce.
If we can move away from 1080 and to something better, that would be excellent. NZ has been trying to move away from aerial 1080 drops for decades, but no alternative has proved anywhere near as effective so far. The Family Party would definitely support moving to a better alternative. We should certainly continue to research alternatives, remembering we are the only country in the world with this particular problem so it is one we must solve ourselves through research.
If the Kiwi party has an actual alternative in mind, I would be very interested in hearing what it is.
But to ban aerial application of 1080 without proposing an alternative is either foolish (possibly a genuine error if they simply don’t understand the issues), or a deceptive vote-gaining ploy.
Not even the Green party is proposing to ban aerial 1080, even they realise that, much as they want to reduce its use, it is still necessary in some circumstances at present.