SAYit Blog
Support for 1080 use

Public opinion on the use of 1080

In recent weeks the controversy over the use of the pest control “1080” has flared up again.

The public debate is typically dominated by small numbers on each side but a recent poll by UMR Research aimed to quantify overall public sentiment on the issue.

We asked a representative sample of 1000 New Zealanders whether they support or oppose the use of 1080 poison to control the impact of possums on native forests and birds and to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis.

Overall, those in favour of 1080 outnumbered those opposing, but the result was by no means overwhelming.

  • 45% declared support for the use of 1080
  • 40% declared opposition and
  • 15% were unsure.

Support or oppose 1080 chart

There were clear differences along the lines of: gender, age and political affiliation.

  • Men were much more likely to declare support for the use of 1080 (54%) compared to 36% of females.
  • Under 30s were less likely to declare support compared to those over the age of 60 (34% and 62% respectively
  • Declared National supporters were more likely to support the use of 1080 (53%) compared to declared Labour and Green supporters (41% and 36% respectively).

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly though, there was no significant difference in support between urban centres and rural centres.

Also, of interest given the heated nature of the debate over the years was that there has been very little shift in overall public sentiment over time, with a similar survey conducted by UMR over a decade ago (2009) returning a similar result.


  • Results are from UMR’s monthly online omnibus survey - a representative sample of 1,000 New Zealanders aged 18 and over. 2009 survey was conducted via telephone survey.
  • This survey was conducted from 26th to 30th September.
  • The margin of error is +/-3.1%.