LOCOWEED?

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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.

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