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Stop Aerial Spraying

Stop Aerial Spraying

Community group Stop Aerial Spraying says that Waitakere City Council, and the other local bodies in the spray zone now have the evidence to act under the Health Act. They must require MAF to abate the nuisance caused by aerial spraying, without further delay.

Spokesperson Sue Berman says "that there have been some major changes since the Council regulatory officer made a decision on this matter".

Important new evidence includes the two independently published research findings:

* The NZEI survey outlining the ongoing effects to the education and health of teachers and pupils; and * The survey by Keith Petrie, et al. of Auckland University, which provides evidence to support complaints made to Council by people affected by the spray, relating to gastro-intestinal and respiratory complaints.

A further change for consideration relates to an increase in the size of the hotspots being sprayed weekly, not 3-weekly as originally envisaged. The hot spots now extend over 800 hectares with an uncharted drift zone around each one. This covers a greater area than the whole spray zone originally considered in the Health Risk Assessment. The number of sprays envisaged in the Health Risk Assessment was 6-8 over an area of 500-600 hectares. MAF now proposes, to spray each hot spot for 30 weeks following the last 'find' made in that area. This programme has exceeded any spray programme with this pesticide anywhere in the world both in duration and in frequency of application.

There is no evidence that aerial spraying will finish at the end of April as previously claimed by some MP's. SAS believe that the new evidence and the on going changes to the spray programme should convince Council officials to take action. "It is well understood that Local Councils have statutory powers and obligations under the Health Act." Ms Berman said today. SAS believes that the Waitakere City Council, given the evidence in its possession, may well be in dereliction of its statutory duty, subjecting the Council to court proceedings if it delays any longer in issuing an abatement notice to MAF"

"We believe that it is clear from the many biosecurity breaches reported in the last few weeks that there is now an urgent need for a new legal precedent to be set. What is the obligation of governments, local and national, in protecting human health while responding to bio-security breaches."

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