Anti-1080 protesters who defaced signs, designed to help protect kiwi from dogs, and kicked over traps in Opua State Forest were badly misinformed, and wasting their time, according to Bay Bush Action spokesman Brad Windust.

The group would not be threatened, silenced or intimidated by the anti-1080 lobby while introduced pests were destroying the great native forests of New Zealand, he said.

The defaced signs had been donated, and erected by tamariki from the group's Ngahere Toa arm, as part of their learning about protecting kiwi.

"It's a massively expensive effort to protect just 250ha of the 2000ha Opua State Forest with trapping, and it's a kick in the guts to have this challenging volunteer work attacked," Mr Windust said.


The group only used traps to protect the forest, but while 1080 had not been used there for 30 years it had been a vocal supporter of the poison.

"We put a huge effort into researching 1080 for ourselves," he said.

"This included not only reviewing the science but travelling the country, looking at areas that have regularly used it and places that had not. We are 100 per cent in support of its use now, for a number of reasons, but mostly because it works."

What was really offensive was that 1080 objectors rarely helped to save native forests, and had little, if any, understanding of forest ecology, he said.

An invitation issued on social media by a leading anti-1080 activist in Northland for those who opposed the poison to volunteer with Bay Bush Action had been shared "far and wide", but attracted only one response, from a fur trapper in Hamilton asking the group to fill out his DoC concession application.

"They have time to kick over our stoat traps and deface our signs, but they're not prepared to even trap the forest as an alternative to 1080."