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Train now - spray later: guidance on pesticide law

Train now - spray later: guidance on new pesticide laws

The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA New Zealand), working with Federated Farmers, has produced a guidance pack for people required to become Approved Handlers of agricultural pesticides.

The 'Guidance for Agrichemical Approved Handlers' pack sets out how growers, farm workers and contractors can become approved handlers of higher risk pesticides. The pack also outlines competency requirements and includes assessment forms.

ERMA New Zealand Chief Executive, Rob Forlong, says by 1 January 2007 most farmers and all spray contractors, are required under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act to qualify as approved handlers to be able to continue working with many agrichemicals.

The changes have been made to ensure users of restricted pesticides adequately protect themselves, others and the environment, Mr Forlong said.

"While most farmers will already have sufficient experience to use pesticides safely, all need to show competence in the new laws. It is important users of restricted pesticides begin the process of becoming approved handlers well before 1 January 2007 to avoid not being certified in time," he said.

The pack is available from or by calling ERMA New Zealand toll free on 0800 376 234.

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