Dave White, publican at the Little Wanganui Hotel and founder of KAKA (Karameans Advocating Kahurangi Action), died on 3 July 2009.
Like so many other New Zealanders with a deep love of the NZ Bush and the outdoor life Dave was deeply distressed about the indiscriminate use of the toxin 1080 across the country by the Animal Health Board and the Department of Conservation. He was concerned about its devastating impact on his beloved bush and the potential for harmful effects on his family’s health.
Dave didn’t, however, just wait for somebody else to do something about 1080. He was instrumental in founding KAKA; giving the communities of Karamea and Little Wanganui an organized and powerful means of voicing their concerns about the broad-scale, indiscriminate use of 1080 poison in their backyard and elsewhere across the West Coast.
His influence and leadership led him to extend his support to other communities along the West Coast. For example, the petition he distributed in 2008 revealed that anti-1080 sentiment was widespread among Coasters and brought many of them closer together to fight against the use of 1080. He was proud of KAKA and the anti-1080 movement across New Zealand is proud of him. He made, and continues to make, a difference.
Dave is sorely missed by his family and friends. But he is also missed by a host of others, many of whom never had the opportunity to meet him in person and experience his wonderful hospitality. His passing is a great loss to all. He won’t be forgotten.