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1080 Operations

1080 Operations

Updated 27 September 2019 4:14pm

Wainuiomata, October 2019

A 1080 operation is planned for an area 4km east of Wainuiomata town, in the Wainuiomata/Orongorongo catchment. This area includes the Wainuiomata Mainland Island – a heavily protected site with very old and flourishing native bush.

This area is intensively trapped and home to threatened species like tītipounamu (rifleman), kākāriki, pōpokatea (whitehead), koekoeā (long-tailed cuckoo) and kiwi. The protection of forest habitat for these birds is vital to their long-term survival.

Why is this operation happening? The current mast year means rat numbers are dramatically increasing. The methods we usually use to keep rat numbers low won’t be enough to control this boom.

Tītipounamu (rifleman) call this area home and need our protection. Credit: Zealandia

Important safety information:

  • Do not hunt or take game for consumption within a two kilometre radius of the operational area. Hunting can resume four months after the control work
  • There is no public access to the Mainland Island area at all times. Do not enter without permission from Greater Wellington or Wellington Water
  • If entering the operational area with permission for business purposes, follow the advice on warning signs at all main access points
  • Do not handle any bait or allow children to wander unsupervised in the area
  • Do not bring dogs into the operational area. Dogs are particularly susceptible to 1080. They must not be allowed access to bait or poisoned carcasses which remain toxic to dogs until they have fully decomposed
  • When the warning signs are officially removed, you can resume normal activities in the area. We’ll also put a notice up on our website – and on social media

If you suspect poisoning dial 111 or contact:

The National Poisons Centre: 0800 764 766 (urgent calls).

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, contact your local vet immediately.


From early October 2019 onwards – application of “pre-feed” tan-coloured cereal pellets (non-toxic)

One to two weeks later – green coloured 1080 cereal pellets applied (toxic), weather permitting

For more information you can download this brochure.

1080 as a method

We believe in protecting our native species. This involves a huge variety of methods, and support for the development of new methods.

The biodegradable pesticide sodium fluoroacetate (or 1080) is one method at our disposal. It is proven to work safely to reduce pest numbers.

1080 application is normally restricted to areas where other methods are unsuitable, like rugged landscapes and areas with health, safety and wellbeing risks.

We face a choice – let pests boom to out of control numbers in our region and have a devastating effect on wildlife, or keep them under control.

Toxin use – our policy

We choose to use toxins only when necessary and in the most cost effective way. And when we do, the approach is planned and targeted.

Our large team of environmental scientists carry out monitoring to continuously assess areas around the region that are home to threatened flora, fauna and marine life.

If monitoring shows that wildlife can survive without the use of toxins, or without an increased use of toxins, things will stay as they are.

When toxins are deemed necessary, an operation is designed for maximum impact with minimal toxin use.

More information on 1080

We encourage anyone interested in becoming more informed on the subject to explore for yourself.

What we know:

  • 1080 is highly soluble and does not stay in water or soil
  • Local health authorities apply strict conditions to aerial operations so that drinking water supplies are not contaminated
  • Safety has been confirmed by tests on several thousand water samples taken after aerial 1080 operations over many years

Some recommendations on information sources:

1080: the facts

1080 frequently asked questions