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New Zealand is known for its crystal clear streams and pure water - uncontaminated by harsh chemicals. A healthy and pure reality - or just creative advertising using throw-away catchphrases?

The Department of Conservation stated in a letter to the Waikato Regional Council's CEO, that for the years 2009 to 2015, 64% of the Department's possum control operations were carried out aerially (across land and water). That is a clear contradiction to what the Waikato Times printed in 2013  - that just 5 to 7% is aerially poisoned. The 64% percentage has increased since the Battle for the Birds campaign was launched in 2015. In addition, TBFree NZ aerially poisons 100's of thousands of hectares every year. On average, over 500,000 hectares of forests and waterways are aerially poisoned, annually.   

In July 2017 Tourism New Zealand released a new promotional video. In the news story below, the reporter is raising the issue of a lady in the video clip drinking directly from what appears to be the Blue Pools, at the Makarora River, Mt Aspiring National Park.

What the news item doesn't state is that all streams flowing into the Blue Pools are included in aerial 1080 poisoning operations. The aerial operations have taken place in February 2017 and in late 2019, despite the peak of the tourist season. What the tourists aren't aware of is that the poisonous baits are dropped all around them, and directly into the water of which they drinking. Many deer are poisoned, and their toxic carcasses are left to decompose where they fall, including into, and near the waterways. The video clip below documents the incidents and includes interviews with tourists.

Bottled water is often sourced from springs and aquifers - and springs and aquifers accumulate water that has travelled from 1080 poisoned forests and streams. Poison bait is spread across the majority of New Zealand forests and directly into most waterways within those forests. Poisoned animal carcasses decompose where they fall - be that on land or in water.

Should New Zealand's water be treated as sacred? In Māori culture, many tribes directly or indirectly consider water as the source or foundation of all life. Are government agencies violating Maori culture and human rights with their aerial poisoning operations? 

Exporting bottled water is a growing industry. Billions of litres are extracted and exported every year.

The Ministry for Primary Industries was recently asked if bottled water was required to be tested for chemicals and bacteria. In its response, it states that businesses are required to meet E Coli thresholds but no mention is made of a requirement to test for chemicals or pesticides - or to parts per trillion - despite the enormous amount of poison bait being spread across the mountain ranges, forests and waterways.

In a recent court case, the judge summarised by saying that the defendant had taken advantage of New Zealand's Clean & Green image. The judge called it "blatant fabrication and lies" and added that the defendants needed to be held accountable for their "blatantly misleading and knowingly untruthful promotion".

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Are our government agencies misleading New Zealanders, and the World, in a similar way by aerially spreading compound 1080 poison across its forests and waterways - while claiming to be "Clean and Green" and "100% Pure"? Should we be practising what we preach in New Zealand, and walk the talk when it comes to branding? Aren't consumers paying for the story behind the brand, not just the product? Perhaps it's time that water testing for 1080 poison and its metabolites - to parts per trillion - was required for all bottled water?

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