Shocking History of Chemical Herbicide Use

By Hana Blackmore

Today we publish a history of chemical herbicide use in Auckland

A shocking history that many, many people know nothing about.

A history that lays bare the motives, actions and inactions of successive cities and councils and their so-called Council Controlled Organisations like Auckland Transport.

But also a history that is rich in endeavour, and persistence, and pure grit and determination by many thousands of people to ensure that we do the right thing and protect ourselves and our children and our grandchildren from unnecessary and harmful chemicals.

Truly, a narrative of the good, the bad and the ugly in one volume.

And the history shows that we are now at a crossroads.

We know where we need to go, what we need to do to make this city safe for us all.  We thought we had finally taken the right direction with the previous council’s unanimous expressions of concern last September 2016 and promises to properly implement the 2013 weed management policy.

But the history shows otherwise.

It shows that Auckland Council and Auckland Transport have never had any intention of relinquishing chemical herbicides, policy or no policy.

It shows they have no intention of implementing the current policy with its best practice objectives that would remove chemicals like glyphosate from our streets and parks.

Instead the history shows how we have been duped and placated whilst the years slip by and yet another “patsy” plan – like the proposed herbicide reduction working party – diverts us all down yet another cul-de-sac.

They are taking the “yes minister” path of yet another report, another working party, another promise that they are working on it – have patience we will get round to it.   Sorry – we have run out of patience.  We no longer believe you.

To quote Martin Luther King Jnr – “Wait has almost always meant, never”.  History shows he was right.

All the evidence detailed here in our history shows we, too, are right not to wait any longer.  Enough is enough.

But do not take our word for it.  Read this history of Auckland’s use of chemicals for weed management and vegetation control. Make your own mind up.

We should reassure you this is not a scientific report or treatise.  Rather, it is an unfolding detective story, searching and sifting for the patterns and threads that link all the actions and inactions over the years that have brought us to the crisis situation we now face in Auckland.

Here, history is captured in brief snapshots, not long narratives.  Putting them all into a timeline – including relevant actions around the country and around the world – allows us to begin to make sense of what has happened and where we need to direct our efforts.

For us, we have made it clear to the Mayor and councillors that we will no longer sit around waiting for yet another budget round or annual plan or long term plan.  We are saying that Auckland Council and Auckland Transport need to stop messing around, focus on putting an immediate moratorium on all chemical use in public places, and get a strategy underway to transition to nonchemical management – NOW.

There can be no more excuses.  But you be the judge.  Let us know what you think.   READ HERE