Second incident of 1080 dump found on Stewart Island

A Newshub investigation has found a second incident of 1080 poison being dumped in the National Park on Stewart Island.

Yesterday we uncovered one dump site. Now a hunter has come forward showing a large bag of 1080 left behind in the bush by the same contractor.

Hunter Greg Hicks stumbled across it in the bush.

"Five minutes in to the hunt we came over a big log and there was a whole bag of pellets in a plastic bag," Mr Hicks said.   

He and a mate had left from a hut called Fred's hut when they found it.

"I would say about eight kilos worth of 1080."

Eight kilos of dry, highly toxic poison - enough to potentially kill hundreds of animals, or humans.

Mr Hicks said there were no words for it and it shouldn’t be done.

It was done by the same contractors who dumped as much as 75 kilograms of the poison in Rakiura national Park on Stewart island.

We uncovered with the help of former worker Isaac, who dumped it with boss Tony Leith.

Isaac spoke up after he saw a photo of a dead Kiwi on the Island, Which some have blamed on the poison.

While there is no direct link, the picture was the catalyst for him to come forward.

Greg Hicks was shocked when he saw the Newshub story on this, because the one he found happened first.

He had informed the Department of Conservation about it and they came in and took it away.

"They just turned around and said it was disgraceful and shouldn't have happened. That it would give DoC a bad name," Mr Hicks told Newshub.  

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The poison operation on Stewart Island, was in what is called the "Rakeahua Possum control block" and ran for four months from March to June.

On April 25 the hunters found 1080 dumped. At the end of May/beginning of June the 1080 was dumped that we uncovered.

Both are close to a public walking track.

Then on June 26, the photo of the dead Kiwi was taken.

The poison is meant to be put up in trees for possums.

"The way they are supposed to do it is put it in bait bags and staple it to the tree," Mr Hicks said.

He added it looked as if animals had eaten some.

"There was probably two or three baits lying on the ground. Like the bag had been chewed at."

The find by these hunters shows that DoC was aware of poor practice, and that dumping was not a one-off.

DoC says it was made aware of the bag but did not get the message before the hunter found it.

Tony Leith, one of New Zealand's most experienced poison operators, told us this poison was lost rather than dumped.

Mr Hicks says the Department of Conservation needs to take some responsibility for its lack of oversight.

Poison in paradise - now a search for accountability.