What a toxic decision by the local board to remove the 30 year moratorium against chemical spraying on Waiheke - and what an underhand way of doing it.
Forty reserves are now under the trigger of a spray gun and a rainbow of defoliating, systemic carcinogens. Has the board been chewing on locoweed?
The board’s incompetence extends to failing to even formulate a timeline to allow for community input and discussion of alternatives BEFORE a decision was made. Does the board think the moratorium is something no one cares about? It exists because we do care.
For Cath Handley, the prospective chairperson, to presumptuously pooh-pooh community involvement and argue urgency because it’s spring is just dictatorial nonsense. We have a right to object to the council’s parochial choices of gung-ho contractors on reserves. The science is on our side, not the side of the toxic-chemico industry.
I’m sure board members are unaware one of the island’s worst infestations of moth plant at Te Matuku has been eradicated by groups of volunteers, some on team building exercises from Auckland.
There are other alternatives. Look at the clear outcomes from tractor slashing around the base of Rangihoua. Scrub-bar cut and paste is manageable and then there are wands, sticks and wicks, as well as plain simple digging out of roots.
Many readers will remember how awful Waiheke looked when for a brief period contractors sprayed around road signs, beach frontages, and targeted every blade of grass whose green tip appeared in a footpath crack. There was a foul odour wherever they sprayed.
If the board has any integrity, they will abandon their undemocratic decision, and that will allow them, individually, to gain perspective by listening to the community they are meant to represent.
Ross Gillespie, Rocky Bay.
‘‘People would be less likely to just dump their stuff, if they could do so properly and freely.’’ Liana Muthrtung on Facebook.