FILM REVIEW. Poisoning Paradise: Ecocide New Zealand By The Graf Boys.

FREE SCREENING Wellington 16th November 2009

On Sunday 30th August 09 the Paramount Theatre in Wellington New Zealand screened Poisoning Paradise, a damning and disturbing investigation of the use of 1080 poison in the bush and forests of New Zealand that has been ongoing for nearly the last 20 years. The film documents the devastation wrought upon our native flora and fauna by the indiscriminate aerial drop operations of 1080 poison by the Department Of Conservation and other organisations tasked ironically, with protecting the exact same wildlife this poison destroys wholesale when it is dropped indiscriminately by helicopter across the country.

The fact that fewer than 100 people turned up to watch this documentary was saddening from my perspective given that there has been some mainstream media coverage of the existence of this film and more recently the whole 1080 poison issue after a dying cancer sufferer hiked up Mount Tongariro to die unless the mainstream media agreed to air the documentary on television, which drew even more public attention to the issue.

At 1 hour and 15 minutes in length, this documentary delivers a solid “knockout blow” to the lies the New Zealand public have been fed by our Government and the Department Of Conservation among others, regarding the alleged safety of 1080 poison and the large-scale methods of distribution used to disperse this poison.

This film pretty much covers it all.

There exists now extensive footage inside “drop zones” both during and many weeks and months afterwards showing the persistence of the poisoned baits and the carnage caused by the poisoning drops. This film documents well that 1080 poison kills birds and mammals both native and introduced and then moves through the food chain via aquatic and insect life.
I felt increasing anger as I watched the testimony of people who live in rural areas of New Zealand describing the fact that aerial 1080 drop poisoning kills native wildlife on a large scale. Farmers have seen native bird populations one week thriving and silenced the next, as well as their own animals being killed after the helicopters fly overhead dropping the baits.

I witnessed rotting pig and possum carcasses lying in streams and rivers, polluting the water and being fed on by eels and freshwater crayfish that in turn ingest the poison.

I witnessed workers breathing in 1080 dust when loading helicopter hoppers with the poison in windy conditions with no respiratory protection, among many other disturbing sights documented by the filmmakers.

Perhaps one of the most stunning revelations within the film however is the fact that the organisations who are tasked with conducting these poisoning operations are well aware of the above mentioned facts and have been and are still involved in a cover-up of those and other facts related to the use of 1080 poison and they are using fraudulent documentation to persist with this cover-up.

This is a documentary film that “pulls no punches” and actually delivers the blows.

Tourists within New Zealand are freaking out when they see signs nailed up along roads and tracks with the skull and cross bones symbol emblazoned in black and red informing them of aerial poison drops. Our food industry and specifically our dairy industry on the international level is now threatened by the release of this film and the information it reveals about 1080 use. When our trading partners and the rest of the world realise what has been happening here they will be outraged.