I am in absolute amazement that a professional in your position, with utmost influence over the population as a whole, can continue to applaud such immature behaviour shown by our local ratepayers' representative, CR Finlayson, in relation to his support of 1080.
Recently, at a council meeting in which I was present, and you were not (sending a representative to write notes for your story), I was horrified and saddened to see the unacceptable general behaviour of the councillors, snickering, making inappropriate comments, with general disdain towards the complainants, one of whom is a very sick man due to workplace poisoning. This meeting did not represent the democratic right of the people concerned, nor did it represent the majority of ratepayers sustaining council and the press.
The most prominent point that became obvious to me during this meeting, and now again with your most recent rant, is the level of disrespect towards the ideas and feelings of others, and that ignorance prevails on the issue of sustainable conservation. You, as an editor, and councillors, representatives of 150,000 people, are responsible for providing this unbiased information.
I agree that this issue needs to be publicly addressed, and sound information for decision-makers and the public, in general, is vital.
Let me remind you that in the first place, Mr Finlayson´s recent publicity stunt in swallowing water, which could very easily have made him quite sick (but because he had taken every measure to make sure that he was only drinking uncontaminated water) it is definitely not up to NZ standards when considering and respecting others.
I would like to see how the family from Waikato, poisoned by what was all but proved 1080 poisoning, would feel at such a ridiculous performance. In addition, the family in Christchurch who have a member in a coma from proven 1080 poisoning would feel disrespected in regards to his heartless comments and attitude. His right to freedom of speech is not the issue here. The issue is basic morality.
I regard your article, and the position of the councillors, irresponsible considering the misinformation you have generated relating to the use of poisons for conservation methods. The material available proves that in fact, using poisons as a conservation method is unwise.
To me, it would be much more intelligent on your part to consider the enormous potential that poison- free conservation has for the economy of our region, desperately in want of innovative industry.
Would it not be more positive and beneficial to the population that your media reaches to be providing information regarding alternatives as a positive economic activity for our population? Already Northland supplies 20,000 possums per month to the NZ possum fur industry, which has confirmed is growing more than supply. Pet food processing industries are now looking towards possum carcasses as an optimum nutritional value, which also has a large potential NZ and international market.
Already trials are under way for an alternative non-toxic weed spray, here in our back yard, which are projects in which we should take interest and be supporting.
Niche market tourism procures destinations that are truly 100 per cent Pure Green NZ, which Northland could truthfully represent and use as a modern marketing tool.
My belief is that alternative practice to status quo methods in conservation could be a point where Northland could become a case study and leader. It is these positive angles that you should be publishing and supporting.
We have no more time for 'old school' processes and procedures where cronies' behaviour dominates. Our region needs to go ahead as a a futuristic potential leader in alternative methods of sustainable conservation.