About Us

About Weed Management Advisory

The Weed Management Advisory is an informal network of Aucklanders from across the region with an interest and expertise in environmentally sustainable and non-chemical weed management.

What we do

Promote, encourage and support non-chemical and integrated management of weeds – consult – research – commission – report and engage in submission processes.

About our people

Dr Meriel WattsMerielWatts is an internationally renowned researcher, writer and speaker on pesticides and non-chemical alternatives. She is Principal Researcher of the research group Meriel Watts Research and Consulting which provides consultancy services on the environmental and health impacts of pesticides; pesticide policy; sustainable food and fibre production; and sustainable pest, weed, and disease management.

Meriel is a committee member of Australia’s National Toxics Network, and occasionally undertakes UN consultancies on non-chemical pest management solutions. She also coordinates Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Aotearoa New Zealand http://www.pananz.net/ and is Senior Science Advisor to PAN Asia and the Pacific and co-chairs the Pesticide Working Group for IPEN (International POPs Elimination Network)

She represents PAN International, a network of more than 600 civil society organisations, at numerous international chemicals meetings including the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants Conferences of Parties and its POPs Review Committee, the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent in Trade Conferences of Parties and its Chemical Review Committee, the Strategic Alliance for International Chemicals Management, the FAO/WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Management, and OECD workshops on Pesticide Risk Reduction.

Meriel is currently a member of the NZ Ministry for Primary Industries’ Agricultural Chemicals and Veterinary Medicines Advisory Council, and has been a member of numerous government committees on pesticides including the Pesticides Board, Agrichemical Trespass Ministerial Advisory Committee, Ministry for the Environment’s Reference Group for a National Pesticide Reduction Policy, and several Ministry of Agriculture Spray Drift Working Groups.  She was a consultant to both the legacy Auckland City for the development of its Weed Management Policy in the 1990s (and one of the authors of its final policy) and the North Shore City when it was reviewing its nonchemical roadside weed management policy in 2006, providing the current science of the adverse effects of glyphosate

She has published a number of books on pesticides, including Poisoning Our Future: Children and Pesticides (2013); Pesticides: Sowing Poison, Growing Hunger, Reaping Sorrow (2010); and Pesticides and Breast Cancer: A Wake Up Call (2007); as well as numerous monographs, fact sheets, and articles. With a background in agricultural science and a PhD in pesticide risk assessment and policy, she also has considerable experience in organic agriculture, including previously being executive director of the Soil & Health Association, New Zealand’s largest organics organisation, and currently running a small organic farm.


Brendan Hoare PhotoBrendan Hoare has more than 28 years’ experience in the Organic sector. His company Organic Systems Ltd, operates a multi sided customer platform to private, public and non-government sectors offering integrated strategic development through consultancy, trade and training.

Organic Systems’ uses its extensive international networks to grow the Organic sector through trade and market development by providing ‘path to market’ strategies. This integrated approach includes; leading agriculture reform and evolution strategies, exploring the role of regional production in food economics, preventative health strategies and researching traditional indigenous resource management practices.

He has served the Organic community for over 14 years. These roles include a World Board member 2005-2008, and currently serves on their Standards Review Committee of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, Co- Founder and advisor to the East Asian Organic Forum, President 1998-2002 of the 72 year old Soil and Health Association, a Director of BioGro, the development of the National Organic Sector Strategy and the formation of the new peak organisation Organics Aotearoa New Zealand, of which he is now chair. He is also the Oceania In this capacity I am the Oceania representative and facilitator of the World Consultative Committee to the United Nations’ International Year of Family Farming.

He is the founding director and Team Leader for the Journal of Organic Systems, audits a national organic certification participatory guarantee program and serves as the Executive Director of the ‘econation2020 Trust‘. His family run an Organic certified 4 hectare property designed on polyculture systems of Asia/ Pacific.

His formal qualifications include a Masters in Agriculture Systems and Rural Development, a degree in Urban Regional and Landscape Planning, Diplomas in Horticulture and Permaculture and a certificate in Adult Learning.


Photo of HanaHana Blackmore has been involved with pesticides and their health effects since 1996 and participated in the development and implementation of Auckland Council’s Weed Management policy since 2010 when the WMA was formed. She was a founder member of The Society Targeting Overuse of Pesticides NZ (STOP), formed in 1997 in response to the government’s Tussock Moth aerial spraying campaign (Operation Evergreen) in Auckland’s Eastern Suburbs.  She co-ordinated, compiled and submitted to Public Health the community’s reports of the adverse effects of the pesticide spraying.

Subsequently she was involved in the government’s Painted Apple Moth campaign in West Auckland from 2001-2007 as a member of the Community Advisory Group (CAG). She detailed the health impacts and effects of the first year of the PAM spraying programme, publishing in Feb 2003 the Interim Report of the Community-based health & incident monitoring of the aerial spray programme.  Ultimately, together with eight other groups, she was instrumental in setting up a ground-breaking people’s inquiry into the impacts and effects of the aerial spraying of pesticide. The Commissioner’s report, together with an independent report from the Parliamentary Ombudsman, both published in 2007, vindicated the community experience of the health and social effects of the spraying.

Hana is administrator for the WMA and the contact for the People’s Inquiry.

Draft in progress – to be continued

2 Responses to About Us

  1. manukapath says:

    You are all amazing people, and thank you for your years of commitment and hard work towards an organic and truly “clean and green” Aotearoa. Tragically our land and waters are drenched in all kinds of pesticides, But people like you are helping to change this. And the website is awesome too, congratulations, it will educate and inspire many people.


  2. Leonie Bartrom says:

    Thank you Meriel and Hana. Your sustained efforts to have Auckland chemical free are so very appreciated by us all who ran out of steam decades ago but still care. My young son who was oversprayed with RU as a newborn asleep in his pram, was the impetus for my involvement. He was a very chemically sensitive child and, thankfully, was eventually able to thrive because Ellerslie was designated ‘spray free’ and the rest of Auckland became much freer of toxic sprays with the introduction of the Weed Management Policy which Meriel co-authored. He is 28 years old now and is the generation having to fight all over again for a spray free Auckland. How can this be democracy? The community has said we don’t want sprays and Council produced the Weed Management Pol in response to that – and here we are back again. Council is wasting money and patience – they should be sued for knowingly poisoning the population.


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