Guilt develops over killing common pests

Now that the SPCA has told us we shouldn't use 1080 to kill possums because of the suffering to the poor dying animals and the risks to other endangered species, I'm starting to feel guilty about my attitude to the flies and moths that distract me from my prayers last thing at night. Should I stop spraying Raid and Mortein and Ripcord Plus?

And what about the long armies of ants which climb the outside of my house - and occasionally get inside? And the aphids, caterpillars, slugs and other pests which infest my garden? Should I stop poisoning them?

I need enlightenment from the SPCA.

Advertisement

I know I should just learn to pray harder and ignore the personal distractions and damage to our bush and gardens and houses. But until I perfect my prayers I have to admit to being grateful for the interim aids.

RICHARD PEIRCE
Marton

Poison problems1080 is the answer to what exactly?
Possums are herbivores and they only eat three per cent of the daily bush growth and that was calculated on the basis of 70 million possums and there's certainly not that many now.

They don't carry bovine TB, that is carried and passed by cattle to cattle.

So you would rather see them all left rotting in the bush polluting our streams ?

You are paying for the poison at a billion dollars every 10 years, wouldn't you rather have your tax money going to health, welfare etc?

Yes, trapping and hunting leaves a few behind the same as poison does but trapping doesn't have a by-kill of all our native birds and it will bring in big export dollars if the poison stops.

Strange isn't it, because before 1080 we had billions of birds along with a few rats, cats and stoats. Now, after 64 years of 1080, we have very few birds and billions of rats, cats and stoats. So tell me again how great this man made highly toxic wide spectrum poison with no antidote is for our birds?

You can talk all the science you like but the proof of the action is the result, and this poisoning result is not good for our native life.

MERV SMITH
Bulls

Poles apart
I read with great interest Dr Danny Keenan's opinion piece (January 4)19 titled: "A pledge that never was?" and Dr Don Brash's well-researched reply (January 6) titled: "One people just reality of Treaty".

Both centre around whether or not the phrase "He iwi tahi tatou" ("We are now one people") was said at the Treaty signing in 1840, or whether it was dreamed up 50 years later by one William Colenso.

It is clear, at least in my eyes, that these pieces were written by two well-educated gentlemen, but their views around how Māori/non-Māori relations came to be in their current state are poles apart, and leave me wondering if the ongoing disharmony between Māori and non-Māori will ever be resolved.

History would certainly suggest that had European settlers not arrived when they did, Māori would likely have come very close to wiping themselves out, such was the savagery of the inter-tribal wars at the time.

Yes, there were skirmishes between British troops and pockets of Māori after the arrival of European settlers, but these were minor in comparison.

Dr Keenan and others spend a lot of time blaming the current state of Māoridom on the rights or wrongs of the Treaty signed 179 years ago, and how Māori were conned out of their heritage in the process - some of which is, indeed, true.

This government and the government beforehand are addressing this with massive payouts and symbolic return of lands.

A question I have often asked is: Why is it that despite the many millions of taxpayer dollars in settlement paid to numerous iwi over the years, that many members of those same iwi are still over-represented in our unemployment figures, our imprisonment numbers, our health spending, the number of people living in poverty, living in over-crowded houses and cars?

At the same time, those who fight for and win the payouts appear to live very well.

This inequality between the haves and the have-nots within Māoridom leaves me wondering if we, as New Zealanders, will ever be "one people".

ROD ANDERSON
Castlecliff

Equal rights
Re: Dr Danny Keenan's article in the Whanganui Chronicle (January 4).

Whether Governor William Hobson said "He iwi tahi tatou" ("We are now one people") as each chief signed the Treaty of Waitangi on February 6, 1840, at Waitangi with a handshake from Hobson is immaterial.

The Treaty made tangata Māori British subjects if they gave up their kawanatanga/governments to the Queen. Article 1.

Once the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by over 500 chiefs, about 75,000 tangata Māori became one people under one flag and one law with the British subjects living in New Zealand. They were given the "same rights as the people of England" (or "We are now one people"). Article 3.

Article 2 explained to tangata Māori they would be guaranteed their land, their settlements and all their property - the same as all the people of England.

This is English law and neither Hobson nor Queen Victoria had the power or authority to give tangata Māori any special rights in the Treaty not enjoyed by all the people living in New Zealand - and none were given.

Interesting to note, the Treaty of Waitangi was ruled "A simple nullity" by Chief Justice Sir James Prendergast in 1877 and "If it was not in our legislation, the Treaty of Waitangi was not legally binding" by the Privy Council in 1941.

Both these rulings have never been over-ruled but have been completely ignored by our historians, the government and the Waitangi Tribunal.

ROSS BAKER
One New Zealand Foundation