More chemical herbicides for Waiheke
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