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Greens Continue To Lead Fight Over Agrichemicals

Wellsford-based Green MP Sue Bradford and Green Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley are receiving a petition at parliament this morning calling for MPs to take a lead on reducing the use of agrichemicals.

The petition calls on parliament to 'reduce excess and indiscriminate applications of agrichemicals which we believe are affecting the health of our living environment by the continued pollution of our air, soil and water.'

"The Greens have taken up a discarded Labour Party bill seeking to ban spray drift onto neighbouring people and properties, have negotiated $500,000 in the last two Budgets to start work on a pesticide reduction programme and Sue Kedgley has a Pesticide Reduction Bill in the members ballot," said Ms Bradford.

"At present more than 3000 tonnes of pesticide are used in New Zealand each year and both this volume and the toxicity of these chemicals needs to be drastically cut."

Sue Kedgley's Pesticide Reduction Bill calls for a review of all pesticides registered under the Pesticides Act and stipulates that a pesticide will not be permitted for use if a less hazardous alternative is available.

"This bill would allow an environmental tax to be levied on pesticides and farmers would be offered assistance to help them convert to production techniques which do not rely on pesticides," said Ms Bradford.

"As a Northern MP I am acutely aware of the concern of people over the heavy use of agrichemicals and the tendency for these chemicals to stray onto neighbouring property.

"The Greens, as the only party in this parliament committed to seriously reducing the use and drift of pesticides and agrichemicals are pleased to receive this petition from Whangarei.

"We acknowledge and share the concern behind this petition and are committed to pursuing all avenues open to us to try and improve this situation," said Ms Bradford.

The petition is being presented at 11am this morning on the steps of parliament


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