An autopsy report done on dead native birds used in a 1080 protest at Parliament in September has found all were killed by unnatural means - but not poison.

According to a summary of official autopsy reports, released under the Official Information Act, two of the birds had been killed by vehicles, two were likely to have flown into windows, one was too decomposed to tell the cause of death, and an adult male weka had been shot, most likely with a .22 rifle.

The results come after the carcasses were laid on the steps of Parliament on September 12 in protest of 1080 drops.

Protesters claimed the birds, including two kererū, two weka and a red-billed gull were killed by 1080 poisoning.


However, at the time, Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard laid a complaint with police as he suspected the native birds were bludgeoned to death.

"I think that any reasonable person would consider that bludgeoning birds to death for a political purpose is just unacceptable," he said in September.

"I am supportive of reasonable protest action at Parliament and believe in the rights of individuals and groups to voice their opinion through protest, but I cannot condone illegal activity committed as part of a protest action on the grounds of Parliament, and therefore a complaint has been laid. I also personally find it regrettable that children were encouraged to be involved in this illegal activity."

Hikoi of a Poisoned Nation co-organiser Alan Gurden said he was assured the dead birds were from a West Coast 1080 drop zone. Photo / File
Hikoi of a Poisoned Nation co-organiser Alan Gurden said he was assured the dead birds were from a West Coast 1080 drop zone. Photo / File

Department of Conservation spokesperson Alan Christie said police investigated, along with Parliamentary Security Services, and provided their investigation file to DOC.

"This has formed the majority of the evidence for us in DOC's subsequent enquiries," the principal compliance officer said.

"A necropsy result of the weka found it had been shot with most likely, a .22 calibre firearm.

"DOC has completed enquiries with an identified individual involved in this protest. That has not been able to establish how or when the weka was shot."

Christie said the focus of DOC's investigation has been on the overall possession of the "Absolutely Protected Wildlife", used in the protest - which was in breach of the Wildlife Act.


"Whilst acknowledging the fact one of the birds had been shot is concerning, the task of establishing to the evidential standard required, who, how and when this weka was shot has proven too difficult," he said.

"The investigation is ongoing and DOC not in a position to comment any further."

Forest and Bird are now calling on anti-1080 protesters to tell police who shot the weka.

"Weka are such special birds, anyone who encountered one will have a story to tell.

"It's very concerning that someone out there has deliberately hurt a native bird, and passed it on to be used as a prop in their campaign of misinformation," CEO Kevin Hague said.

"Like all our native animals, weka need their forest homes to be from safe rats and stoats.


"We should all be supporting the Department of Conservation to do what they do best, which is care for our native wildlife."

Hague said it is an offence under the Wildlife Act to shoot protected birds.

"The protest leader misled the country by claiming the birds had been killed by 1080, and then denied he said it.

"He needs to distance himself from this latest criminal act and tell the police what he knows about who killed this weka."

In September, Hikoi of a Poisoned Nation co-organiser Alan Gurden told the Herald he could "guarantee" none of the birds had been "bludgeoned".

"It is appalling [Mallard] can make that claim with no proof to discredit our cause. There is no way we would stoop to that level because we would become what we are trying to save."


Gurden said some of the birds, including two weka, a quail, and one of the kererū, were road-kill. The rest he said believed to have been killed by 1080, though he was not certain.

"I didn't watch them die, but the person who supplied them to me assured me they were from a 1080 drop zone on the West Coast from 2014.

"He is a scientist and had been keeping them in his freezer. He wanted to test them for 1080, but he couldn't afford it."

The group had not tried to mislead the public into thinking the birds had been poisoned by 1080, he said.