Protests against the use of 1080 will be held in several Northland towns tomorrow, only days before planned aerial drops of the poison over Russell Forest and Cape Brett.

Events in Whangārei, Kerikeri, Dargaville, Kawakawa and other centres are part of the nationwide Operation Ban 1080, a social media promoted, rolling demonstration against the pesticide also known as sodium fluoroacetate.

Protests have already been held in some cities and towns, with the majority planned for tomorrow. Organisers have asked attendees to remain peaceful despite the sometimes volatile subject.

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The Whangārei protest will be in Mander Park from 12pm to 2pm. Dargaville's protest is outside Kaipara District Council's Hokianga Rd building from 12pm.

Protesters in Kawakawa will meet at the War Memorial Park from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, while in Kerikeri, a rally will start at 10am at Kerikeri Domain with a march through town at noon.

Opposition to 1080 is largely based on claims it kills native animals and birds as well as the pests it targets, poisons domestic animals who ingest it and gets into waterways.

Counter claims are that predator pest numbers are so high and the damage they've caused so severe, that without knocking them hard some native forests would soon be beyond repair.

Today's methods and strength of 1080 are safer and more effective than the 1080 used years ago, according to those in favour of its use.

The timing of the nationwide protests and DoC's Northland drop plans coincide as the spring season offers the right conditions, including post-winter hunger among pests and beating the breeding season when many more birds would be vulnerable to predation.

DoC advertised late in August its intention to drop 1080 pellets by helicopter over nearly 8000 hectares of public, private and Maori land, starting next week. The programme is weather-dependent.

The drop is part of a draft 20-year forest health plan being led by nine hapu in the Whangaruru/Russell Forest area. It is the first long-term plan Northland DoC has been partner to which has been initiated by a multi-hapu roopu, or collective.


DoC's Warren Morunga, whose role is to co-ordinate with the roopu, said the document has to stay in draft form until a governance structure is set up.