WMA Media Releases

Glyphosate, Cancer and the NZ EPA – Auckland councillors told they cannot rely on the EPA to protect their people.  Council is asked to go all out to take glyphosate based herbicides off all streets and parks. In a presentation to Auckland’s Environment and Community Committee this week, the authors of the widely supported scientific report ‘Public Health Concern: Why did the EPA Ignore the World Authority on Cancer?’ asked the Council to reconsider its current approach of relying on EPA advice on glyphosate to protect public health.  (13 September 2017)

Enough is Enough – Shocking History of Chemical Herbicide Use Published How Aucklanders have been duped and placated for years.  The WMA says the history and timeline of chemical use in Auckland has been published because people need to see for themselves, and make their own judgement on what has happened.  For the WMA, they have made clear to Council they will no longer sit around waiting for yet another budget round or annual plan or long term plan.  Council and Auckland Transport need to stop messing around, and along with a moratorium on all chemical use, get an immediate strategy underway to transition to nonchemical management – or give the task to the WMA.  (26 July 2017)

Glyphosate Exposed – New Review Dispels the Myth of Safety.  The WMA welcomes the release of an up to date scientific review of the pesticide glyphosate.  The glyphosate monograph published this week by Pesticides Action Network International (PAN) comprehensively dispels what they call the ‘myth’ of safety.  Adverse effects detailed in the new monograph, such as genotoxicity, endocrine disruption and kidney and liver damage are among the most worrying of effects.  Dr Meriel Watts says that for too long regulators have ignored the mounting evidence of damage, hiding behind unpublished studies by Monsanto, which not surprisingly paint a picture of a benign chemical startlingly at odds with reality. (12 October 2016)

Auckland Mayor Len Brown throws policy to the wolves.  Hana Blackmore of the WMA says the council’s 2013 weed management policy has barely drawn breath let alone been allowed to crawl, but at a council meeting in July Mayor Brown didn’t just throw it out with the bathwater he threw it to the wolves.  The WMA says while the presenters to the committee believed they were finally being heard about their concerns over the expansion of chemicals on Auckland’s streets and parks and the need to fully implement the policy after the debacle of the annual plan budget cuts, the Mayor had already planned to ‘throw it out’.  The WMA accuses the Mayor of not even listening to anything anyone said before announcing the Weed Policy was to be reviewed. (8 July 2016).

(Includes video clips of the Open Forum presentations to the Committee)

Europe votes to withdraw approval of carcinogenic glyphosate in public places and to remove it from public sale The decision by the European Parliament to only renew the use of glyphosate for seven years to allow further review of its toxic properties is unprecedented. In light of their decision to put human health first, the WMA demands that Auckland Council follows suit and implements an immediate reversal of its decision to expand the use of glyphosate and ban it for all private use and in all public places. The WMA also reminds Council of its duty of care under the new Health & Safety at Work Act and details its responsibilities to keep everyone safe. (15 April 2016)

Report reveals covert chemical spraying in Auckland streets   An urgent public investigation is demanded after documents reveal Auckland Transport vegetation control contractors across the city have been secretly spraying glyphosate, breaking twenty years of chemical free treatment. The WMA says it is outrageous that glyphosate is still being used, let alone in this covert manner without the knowledge of the public. The report released today questions who has sanctioned the subverting of the legacy practices, and the WMA renews its call for a complete ban on the use of glyphosate in public places. (18 Jan 2016)

Auckland Council accused of putting public at risk. A controversial leaked Council briefing document raises huge concern about their recommendation to expand the spraying of chemicals across the city, contrary to its own Policy. The WMA questions the relationship between Council and the chemical industry in the light of comments in the document and the trivialisation of the serious health risk to the public. A complete ban on the use of glyphosate, also known as Roundup on all public land in Auckland is called for after a New Zealand toxicologist confirms heightened risks of glyphosate. (30 July 2015)

Carcinogenic Chemical must be taken off the Roads and Parks of Auckland Immediately. In light of the World Health Organisation’s recent ruling, that the herbicide glyphosate is a Class 2A probable human carcinogen, the WMA issue an open letter to Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Dr Lester Levy, Chairman of Auckland Transport, calling on them to immediately cease use of this chemical in its public operations and urgently work together to co-ordinate the implementation of the changes necessary to switch all weed and vegetation control operations to nonchemical methods. (9 April 2015)

Auckland spray is “probably carcinogenic The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has this week re-classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” and the WMA said this is a wake-up call for Auckland Transport and Auckland Council. Dr Meriel Watts said that the use of this chemical on the road, parks and sports fields of Auckland cannot now continue in the face of this damning assessment. She says it is totally unacceptable to continue to expose people and especially children who are so susceptible to carcinogens, after this ruling from the IARC. The WMA will be pursing this urgently with Council especially in view of the LTP proposals to drop nonchemical weed control in favour of increasing the use of chemicals. (22 Mar 2015)

Auckland Transport “bullies” contractor into spraying chemicals. Hana Blackmore of the WMA has raised the alarm over secret spraying of chemicals on the roads in the North West Urban Area currently controlled with a nonchemical hot water treatment. Hana says she had publically raised concerns about contractors being pressured to spray chemicals when she had presented the Human Rights Report to AT’s December Board Meeting. The WMA are calling for a report of AT’s investigation into WMA’s concerns, that concluded the issues raised were not justified, to be made public. (9 Mar 2015)

Auckland Transport faces human rights accusations. The WMA announces it has commissioned a human rights impact assessment on Auckland Transport’s potential liabilities if it continues to promote and use the toxic chemical glyphosate on the region’s roads. It says Transport has a duty to protect people’s health, but is singularly failing to do so, even though the WMA have continued to bring to their attention the huge body of independent scientific evidence linking glyphosate to adverse effects on human health and the environment. (6 Oct 2014)

Urgent Audit called for after Allegations of corruption at Auckland Transport. The Weed Management Advisory ask for all road corridor vegetation control contracts, and the costings supplied by their Road Corridor Maintenance (RCM) division to be thoroughly and independently reviewed and audited as a matter of urgency, after learning that senior manager sacked by Auckland Transport for alleged corruption over roading contracts, was the Manager of RCM. (16 Sep 2013)

Auckland Council new Weed Management Policy welcomed. The WMA welcomes the adoption of Auckland Council’s new Weed Management Policy at the Regional Development and Operations Committee on Thursday 15th August. “At last we have a policy that should bring to an end the out-of-date practice of spraying glyphosate along road and pavement edges to control vegetation”. (16 Aug 2013)

Non-chemical Roadside Spraying not Guaranteed. The WMA warns that Auckland Council’s proposed weed management policy does not guarantee that toxic chemicals will not continue to be sprayed for roadside vegetation control, and urges people to provide feedback to the draft weed management policy. Recent international reports obtained by the WMA show more and more evidence of the harmful effects of pesticides that is currently used on the roadside throughout the Auckland Region. (April 11 2013)

Weed resistance shows urgent need to move away from chemical roadside spraying. The WMA urges Council and Auckland Transport to stop the use of glyphosate for vegetation control in order to reduce the pressure on resistance build-up, after the announcement that the first case of a glyphosate resistant weed has been confirmed in New Zealand. “What is of huge concern to us is that the reduction in the efficacy of glyphosate, coupled with the current advice from AgResearch to alternate its use with other herbicides to avoid building up resistance, could result in farmers and growers using far more toxic chemicals”. (14 Dec 2012)

Auckland sleepwalking to a toxic future. The WMA is alarmed to learn that in the Supercity reorganisation, responsibility for roadside weed management was handed over to Auckland Transport without any overarching policy being set by Council.   “Not only will this be a terrible step backwards, but it means that something that is of fundamental importance to the community has been effectively removed from democratic input, to an arms-length organisation that is set to overturn something that the community fought a long hard battle for.” (20 May 2012)









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