More chem­i­cal her­bi­cides for Wai­heke

Waiheke Marketplace - - Out & About - ROSE DAVIS

Plans to use chem­i­cal her­bi­cides in more than 40 Wai­heke Is­land parks have been ap­proved by Wai­heke Lo­cal Board.

A pub­lic meet­ing will soon be held to pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion about Treescape gain­ing dis­pen­sa­tion to spray or di­rectly ap­ply glyphosate, met­sul­furon and pi­clo­ram to 28 weed species in Wai­heke re­serves.

Lo­cal board chair­per­son Paul Walden asked that the com­mu­nity meet­ing be held be­fore her­bi­cide use be­gins, but board mem­ber Cath Han­d­ley said work needed to be­gin ur­gently.

‘‘It’s spring and every plant is gal­lop­ing. I don’t want to wait for the out­come of a meet­ing that won’t be a clear out­come any­way,’’ Han­d­ley said.

The board voted for Treescape’s con­sent to use chem­i­cal her­bi­cides to last for six months and then be re­viewed.

The plan for the Auck­land com­pany to use her­bi­cides has been de­vel­oped in con­sul­ta­tion with Wai­heke en­vi­ron­men­tal groups. Walden said se­ri­ous in­fes­ta­tions of nox­ious weeds are smoth­er­ing na­tive trees in some re­serves and care­ful use of her­bi­cides is needed to re­move them.

Treescape has agreed only to use chem­i­cals when other meth­ods, such as man­ual weed con­trol, are not con­sid­ered ef­fec­tive.

Her­bi­cides will be di­rectly ap­plied to 21 weed species and can be sprayed on seven species, in­clud­ing as­para­gus weed, pam- pas grass, jas­mine, moth plant, and Ja­panese honey­suckle.

Wai­heke anti-spray cam­paigner Hana Black­more said Treescape has been given a ‘‘blan­ket dis­pen­sa­tion’’ to use chem­i­cal her­bi­cides, when con­trac­tors in the past had to seek per­mis­sion for her­bi­cide use in spe­cific ar­eas and time pe­ri­ods.

‘‘My con­cern is these are peo­ple from out­side Wai­heke and I don’t believe they have a re­ally good hook on how we do stuff.

‘‘Will there be proper no­ti­fi­ca­tion and sign post­ing to make sure peo­ple are not go­ing into those ar­eas af­ter they have sprayed? We live with the ex­pec- tation we’re not fac­ing chem­i­cals and they need to un­der­stand that is what we have fought for and es­tab­lished,’’ Black­more said.

Glyphosate is a prob­a­ble hu­man car­cino­gen, has harm­ful ef­fects on the en­vi­ron­ment and im­pacts na­tive species, such as geckos, she said.

‘‘We owe it to our en­vi­ron­ment to give this a good shot and re­fine it if needed.’’ Paulwalden

Lo­cal Board mem­bers John Meeuwsen, Cath Han­d­ley and Paul Walden at a meet­ing where in­creased use of chem­i­cal her­bi­cides was ap­proved. ROSE DAVIS/STUFF

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