Auck­lan­ders say no to spray

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CATRIN OWEN

Some Auck­land res­i­dents have been un­aware they can opt out of hav­ing Auck­land Trans­port spray their berms with weed killer.

Auck­land Trans­port (AT) spokesman Mark Han­nan said the ser­vice was not new but a car­ry­over from coun­cil’s be­fore the su­per city was formed in 2010.

As of March 3, 2017 1999 house­holds had opted out of hav­ing their berm sprayed, Han­nan said.

That’s only 0.13 per cent of Auck­land’s pop­u­la­tion.

Keith Shack­le­ton from Mt Eden said he was un­aware of the reg­is­ter un­til re­cently.

‘‘I’m good with coun­cil al­low­ing us to opt out, and do our own weed­ing, be­cause I think it’ll be bet­ter for my hedge and my health,’’ Shack­le­ton said.

‘‘It is a re­ally acrid smell and some­times they spray so much on it hangs around in the air for hours.

‘‘We al­ready have to grass cut the berm, I’m sure I can pull a few weeds while I’m there.’’

AT’s web­site said res­i­dents were able to re­quest to be added to the ‘‘no spray’’ list if they did not want the street frontage of their prop­erty sprayed with her­bi­cide.

If res­i­dents chose to be added to the reg­is­ter, they were agree­ing to take over the con­trol of weeds in the street frontage in­clud­ing the berm, foot­path and the kerb.

In the road cor­ri­dor, in­clud­ing berms and foot­path edg­ing, Auck­land Trans­port con­tin­ues the same meth­ods it used un­der the legacy cities.

This varies across the city, from her­bi­cide glyphosate and chem­i­cal spray­ing to plant-based her­bi­cides, hot wa­ter, high­pres­sure steam and me­chan­i­cal meth­ods.

Auck­land Coun­cil re­cently came un­der fire from anti-spray ac­tivists af­ter its con­trac­tors sprayed glyphosate on a park at Ar­mour Bay beach in West Auck­land the day be­fore a Mu­sic in Parks event on Fe­bru­ary 25.

Mul­ti­ple pe­ti­tion’s around the coun­try are been signed by peo­ple who are con­cerned about the use of glyphosate on streets.

Hana Black­more is one of those cam­paign­ing for spray free streets.

She was not sur­prised at the small amount of peo­ple signed up to the reg­is­ter.

‘‘It’s left over from the legacy coun­cil 20 years ago when they used non-chem­i­cal sprays.’’

Black­more said res­i­dents were un­aware glyphosate was be­ing used on their berms.

SI­MON MAUDE/FAIR­FAX NZ

Auck­land Trans­port has a reg­is­ter for res­i­dents to opt out of hav­ing their berms sprayed.

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