There was no media coverage at all. The group marched on Parliament waving banners calling on New Zealanders to "wake up to what's going on".
Shoppers and office workers on Lambton Quay mostly looked either mystified or disinterested.
Outside the Beehive, only NZ First wanted to speak to them. Winston Peters was too busy so MP Richard Prosser read his speech.
Prosser claimed NZ First was the only political party that wanted 1080 use scaled back and eventually replaced with more acceptable methods.
In fact, politicians of all hues have said they want alternatives but acknowledge that, to date, nothing else as effective has been found.
Prosser told the protesters that aerial laying of 1080 costs well over $100 million a year.
NZ First believes ground control (ie "capable hunters") targets the right species and could create jobs in the regions.
DoC also says hunters can be effective in areas of less than 2000 hectares.
Other claims made in the speech were typical of those made by anti-1080 proponents on social media - half-truths, hyperbole or directly contradictory of scientific findings endorsed by the likes of not only government entities but independent bodies such as the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
For example: "When added to water, 1080 dilutes, but the toxic part of the molecule remains intact. [Solubility] hastens the digestive uptake of the poison by birds, animals and other susceptible air-breathing species, as well as some plants, and allows the toxin to spread very fast in the environment."
The EPA (2014): "Since 2008, more than 530 water samples from drinking water catchments and other water bodies have been analysed for 1080. Of these samples, 15 were above the method detection limit and all were well below the human health TEL (tolerable exposure limit)."
Massey University's Dr Mike Joy, a scathing critic of any contamination of New Zealand waterways, said he had examined piles of research on 1080 and water and "I can find no impact whatsoever".
One study involved feeding of eels whole pellets laced with 1080 "for days and days on end [with] no impact".
Joy said humans would have to eat two tons of eels fed with such pellets to get a lethal dose.
"All the studies show it breaks down in the environment."
Prosser repeated the hoary old chestnut that 1080 is banned in most countries, and New Zealand used 80-90 per cent of all 1080 used globally.
Dave Hansford, in his meticulously researched and highly readable new book Protecting Paradise, said the inference of this oft-repeated statement is that the rest of the world has seen sense.
"Very few other countries can use 1080," Hansford says.
"Fluoroacetate is most toxic to mammals, and almost every other country in the world has native mammals they want to avoid killing."
The only native animals we have are the ones that eventually flew or swam here - two species of bat, fur seals and sea lions. All the rest - including rabbits, stoats, rats, deer, possums, hedgehogs - were brought by humans and because they have no natural predators, they have flourished in often extraordinary numbers.
"1080 hasn't been banned everywhere else," Hansford says.
"It's simply not registered. Agencies won't wear the costs and rigmarole of registering a compound they're unlikely to use."
Another claim: "NZ has been using 1080 for nearly 60 years, and if it was going to work, it would have done so by now."
The task is huge. Each year about 440,000 hectares of public conservation land is treated with 1080. But that's only about 5 per cent of the 8.75 million hectare total.
And the remoteness of much of that land is why hunting, trapping and ground baiting operations are only effective in some situations.
Well-managed aerial 1080 operations can reduce possum and rat numbers by more than 95 per cent over large areas of rugged and inaccessible territory.
It was also claimed 1080 is an "inhumane and indiscriminate poison which kills all air-breathing organisms".
DoC, the EPA, Federated Farmers and others who support controlled 1080 operations have been upfront that deer, dogs and a small number of bird species - in particular kea, weka, tomtit and robins - are known to be susceptible to eating baits.
But even if this unintended toll was 3 per cent, consider this against research by John Innes of Landcare Research, who calculated that some 26.7 million eggs and chicks are killed by introduced pests every year, and that doesn't count females annihilated while sitting on the nest.
Hansford put it forcefully: "The enormity of such slaughter puts any incidental mortality from pest control in the shade, and makes perfectly clear the reason our forests are silent, and it's not 1080."
In her 2011 report on 1080, appended by 14 pages of references to scientific papers and studies, Dr Jan Wright, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, said: "It is my view based on careful analysis of the evidence that not only should the use of 1080 continue [including in aerial operations] to protect our forests, but that we should use more of it.
"It is seldom that I come to such a strong conclusion at the end of an investigation. But the possums, rats and stoats that have invaded our country will not leave of their own accord. Much of our identity as New Zealanders, along with the clean, green brand with which we market ourselves to the world, is based on ecosystems these pests are bent on destroying."
Federated Farmers welcomed her report as "popping the 1080 mythology balloon" and newspaper editorials around the country supported that view.
However, social media is still awash with anti-1080 outrage, with anecdotes rather than science underpinning the discussions.
- The Country