Hapū of Horowhenua iwi Muaūpoko are questioning the value of consultation after a recent hui with the Department of Conservation (DoC) ahead of a planned drop of 1080 poison in the Tararua Ranges.
More than 60 people from different Muaūpoko hapū attended the meeting in Levin Memorial Hall earlier this month at the invitation of DoC and its Project Kaka partners OSPRI.
Project Kaka was due to start this month with aerial drops of 1080 poison on the Tararua Ranges east of Levin. Warning signs would be erected near the bush warning of the dangers of the impending 1080 drop.
Those at the Levin hui listened and engaged with DoC and OSPRI representatives but following the hui were unanimously opposed to the 1080 aerial poisoning.
Vivienne Taueki said she questioned the value of consultation and believed DoC was going to forge ahead with the 1080 plans regardless of any concerns raised at the meeting.
"We are not being listened to," she said.
"It reflects the attitudes on where our interests lie."
Taueki said it had now forced members of the iwi into a reactive position where they were now considering applying for an injunction to have the planned 1080 poison drop stopped.
Pou Ruka was also at the meeting and said it wasn't a case of disagreeing that there were predators that needed culling, it was about wanting to work with DoC and OSPRI on alternatives.
He said the Tararuas were a perfect opportunity for alternatives to blanket 1080 poisoning to be used, and that the 1080 budget could be used to fund those alternatives.
Ruka suggested designated 1080 bait stations and traps, and part of the 1080 budget could also be used to incentivise hunters and trappers with monetary rewards.
"We would support a trial of alternatives to 1080 poisoning in the Tararuas. It might not wipe out every predator, but it would definitely slow them down," he said.
"What we do know is that after 50 years of 1080 aerial poisoning, it hasn't worked. We are continuing to do the same thing."
"We would support working alongside DoC and OSPRI in looking at these alternatives. But nobody seems to be willing to even look at it."
As tangata whenua it would also be an opportunity to teach rangatahi about the bush and impart hunting and trapping skills, he said.
Meanwhile, Taueki said if there was one positive to come from the meeting it was that all Muaūpoko hapū who attended were unanimous on their anti-1080 stance.
"One hundred per cent," she said.