Nelson MP and Environment Minister Nick Smith says he has laid a complaint with police after rat poison was rubbed in his face and his family was threatened.
Smith said he was not harmed by the incident, which happened about 11am on Saturday at the Nelson Market.
“It was blue rat poison,” he said. “I went and had a shower afterwards.”
The incident came as the first of three planned drops of bait laced with brodifacoum got under way at the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary, near Nelson.
Smith said a man and a woman protesting over the operation threw poison at him.
“The situation became quite frightening when it escalated from verbal abuse and throwing rat poison at myself and volunteers to physical shoving and rubbing rat poison over my face and clothes,” he said.
It was at that point, police were called and the pair walked away “but continued threats to poison myself and my family”.
This is just disgraceful and those responsible should be charged.