The Kaipātiki Local Board has voted unanimously to oppose the proposal by Auckland Council to end over 20 years of chemical-free weed control on our footpaths and road corridor (see our feedback below).
Council is proposing to reduce the North Shore’s level of service from using hot water/steam/foam (with occasional spot-application of glyphosate on persistent weeds such as nutgrass), to spraying glyphosate by default.
This proposal is an unfair cost-cutting measure that undermines the Local Board’s decision-making and lowers our current level of service. The Local Board would be expected to fund the difference to retain our chemical-free level of service from our already-stretched funds, which is not realistic.
The Council’s Environment and Climate Change Committee will be making a decision on the proposal in November.

NZ Herald article:

“Essentially this is a cost-cutting measure, and if it goes ahead, councillors will be unfairly overriding local concerns and forcing our hand to accept widespread and routine chemical spraying in the road corridor, thereby abandoning our chemical-free status,” Gillon said. “The proposal is to lower our level of service to a new regional level of service.”

Below is the resolution that the Kaipātiki Local Board passed yesterday:

19 Project Streetscapes: Weed Management report
Resolution number KT/2020/147
MOVED by Chairperson J Gillon, seconded by Deputy Chairperson D Grant:

That the Kaipātiki Local Board:
a) provide the following feedback on the recommended approach to a standardised methodology to managing weeds on footpaths, berms and the kerb and channel across more than 5000 kilometres of urban roads.

i) does not support the introduction of a standardised approach for edging and weed control on hard surfaces in the road corridor across Auckland, and supports retaining the status quo where local boards can set weed policy appropriate to their area, within the guidelines of the 2013 Auckland Council Weed Management Policy for Parks & Open Spaces.
ii) request that Auckland Council continue to maintain and fund the existing weed management service levels and methodology in the Kaipātiki Local Board road corridor – consisting primarily of thermal technology, along with the minimal use of spot spraying of herbicide (glyphosate or plant-based herbicide) to address specific persistent weeds, and mechanical methods.
iii) submit that each local board has the moral authority and right to determine the level of service for weed control in public spaces within their area, as the elected governance body for the area.
iv) submit that weed management in the road corridor is a core ‘business as usual’ function of Auckland Council, which should be supported and fully-funded centrally, and not through local board budgets, even where levels of service differ between local boards.
v) note that the former North Shore City Council area, that encompasses the Kaipātiki Local Board area, has had a chemical-free status in public spaces for over 20 years by utilizing thermal methods of weed control.
vi) note that the 2013 Auckland Council Weed Management Policy for Parks & Open Spaces recognizes that “agrichemicals can be harmful to human health and the environment”; supports minimising agrichemical use (objective 3); and states that “the simplest way of achieving an overall reduction in agrichemical use is through restrictions on the application of chemicals in specific areas or at specific times”, which is what is currently being achieved in the Kaipātiki Local Board area.
vii) request that the Environment and Climate Change Committee defer their decision until such time as the trial of “Foamstream” hot foam as an alternative weed management methodology has been concluded and reported, and all local boards have been briefed and given their feedback on including hot foam as an alternative weed management methodology.
viii) are disappointed that the review is effectively presenting a choice between increasing carbon emissions (in regards to the use of boilers in thermal methods) vs chemical pollution of the public environment, when other solutions (for example, electric vehicles and boilers) may be available.

b) request advice from relevant staff regarding the cost implications to the local board by retaining the status quo/existing levels of service approach to weed management in the streetscape.


View the report to the Local Board under item 19 here:

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