This is something that any volunteers working with poison need to read & be aware of. Hopefully this is an isolated incident only with Bay of Plenty. In essence the issue here is that DOC did not file paperwork for distributing poison in traps to the regulator. The Environmental Protection Agency did an investigation and considered prosecution of volunteers who had unknowingly been working on Predator-Free work without the proper signoffs due to DOC’s failure.
From the article:
" The EPA email said an investigation had been undertaken and that breaches of the act could result in jail time of up to three months, or a $500k fine. The EPA has considered the circumstances of this non-compliance, and advice from DOC that the issue was due to a process failure by the DOC Whakatane-Whirinaki-Opotiki district office, rather than a deliberate breach by the community group. It was decided that the groups were not going to be penalised, but a file would be kept on them in case of further incidents."
If you are involved in poison bait especially on public land you would be highly advised to check with DOC that they have done the appropriate compliance so that it doesn’t poison you instead.