KAKA Press Release:
Karamea tourism operators are closing their businesses during the scheduled sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) poison drop from July 1 to July 10, 2008 and the subsequent period and will file compensation claims for business interruption, restriction to trade and loss of revenue resulting from the Animal Health Board (AHB) aerial 1080 operation.
The tourism operators provide accommodation, food and beverage and transport services to visitors to the region and promote Karamea as a “Clean Green” “100%Pure” destination for both domestic and international visitors. They feel to invite tourists to Karamea during the 1080 operation and subsequent period when the baits are active would be fraudulent and irresponsible.
The indiscriminate use of 1080 by the Department of Conservation, the AHB and pest-control contractor EPRO is having a serious impact on the tourism industry in Karamea and is in direct contrast to the way the region, and indeed the whole of New Zealand, is promoted.
Following a 1080-drop, skull and crossbones “poison laid” signs are erected to warn people of the danger. Signs similar to the one below are placed along the Heaphy and Wangapeka tracks in the Oparara Basin and every other tourist attraction in Karamea. The 1080 programme and the related signage is having a serious impact on the local tourism industry, as is the associated decimation of native birdlife, pollution of waterways, and potential threat to human health.