The controversial topic of weed control alongside roads is due to be debated by the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board this month, giving the community a chance to have its say.
Auckland Council uses a range of methods in different local board areas but this is now being reviewed, with things such as cost, emissions, effectiveness, the safety of pedestrians and reducing agrichemical use all being considered.
One option that is bound to be divisive is the use of the chemical weedkiller glyphosate – a concern for some residents since it was declared “a probable human carcinogen” by the World Health Organisation in 2015.
Hibiscus and Bays is one of just four local board areas in Auckland where mechanical and thermal (hot water/steam) methods are mainly used on roadsides, along with glyphosate in some areas and for some weeds. Plant based herbicides are used in five local board areas and synthetic herbicide, such as glyphosate, are used in the majority, 10 local board areas.
Council staff briefed local board members on the review at a recent workshop.
A People’s Panel survey of 5686 Auckland residents last year shows that high-pressure steam is the preferred method (26 percent), while 11 percent favour synthetic herbicide (including glyphosate).
Synthetic herbicide is the least preferred method for 52 percent of respondents.
A report containing Council’s recommendations and seeking feedback and preferred methods of weed control from local board members is expected to be presented to the Hibiscus and Bays open meeting, on September 17 at its office at 2 Glen Road, Browns Bay.
Anyone who has strong views on this topic and wishes to have their say can contact a local board member ahead of that meeting, or attend in person. Residents can also request a speaking slot at the meeting in a deputation (7 days notice required) or public forum. Local board contacts and other info: aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/ or via the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board’s facebook page.
Note: Weed management in parks and reserves is a separate contract, and locally contractors are required to use mainly manual methods and reduce use of chemicals.
People’s Panel survey