Hamilton, New Zealand Use of Herbicides Policy

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Hamilton, New Zealand

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Type: Policy

Status: Approved on 2/28/07

Source File: http://hamilton.co.nz/page/pageid/2145834821

Text:

Purpose
To control the use of herbicides in the management of unwanted vegetation in a way that achieves levels of service and outcomes agreed with the community, protects human health, meets Hamilton City Council’s legal obligations and is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

Scope
Vegetation management and the management of herbicides used by Hamilton City Council and its contractors.

Policy

Vegetation Management
Hamilton City Council will use herbicides only when:

  • Vegetation control is necessary to achieve the desired level of service for an asset or to meet Council’s pest plant obligations, and non herbicide control is impracticable
  • Their use is consistent with the nature of the asset and the service it provides
  • Their use is practicable, effective, economic and sustainable
  • The methods employed lead to the most accurate possible targeting and the lowest possible dispersal of herbicide
  • The herbicides used are the least toxic and environmentally persistent that achieve the desired result with the minimal number of applications
  • Application times are effective for the control of the targeted vegetation
  • Applications are for the minimum period and at the lowest concentration that will achieve the desired result
  • Their use and the desired outcomes are consistent with and comply with Hamilton City’s Proposed District Plan, Environment Waikato’s Regional Policy Statement, Proposed Waikato Regional Plan and Regional Pest Management Strategy, and with the National Pest Plant Accord or succeeding documents.

Code of Practice
Herbicides will be applied and managed in the manner prescribed in NZS 8409:2004 or succeeding documents. Staff involved in the management and application of herbicides will have the appropriate level of Growsafe qualification.

Weed Minimisation
All infrastructure will be designed and constructed in a way that minimises the impact of unwanted vegetation and avoids so far as possible the necessity of direct vegetation control.

To achieve a seed rain in Hamilton that comprises the highest possible proportion of non weedy and native species, all plants and tree species to be planted by or on behalf of the Council will be either:

  • natives, or
  • species having the least production of viable seed and propagules consistent with meeting the intended functions of the plantings in question, or
  • will be species that can be managed to prevent the dispersion of seed and propagules.

To the extent consistent with the overall planning intention, the principles of light management and the minimisation of germination sites will be incorporated in all planting plans prepared by or for Hamilton City Council.

New Methods
Methods of weed control will be kept under constant review. Alternatives to the use of herbicides will continue to be investigated and trialled where practical. Where any new method is more effective in meeting the criteria set out in this policy, it will be introduced.

Public Exposure
Where herbicides are the preferred method of vegetation management, the potential for public exposure will be minimised through:

  • selection of the lowest impact application methods
  • the timing of application
  • advance publicity for application where possible
  • signage on site
  • active maintenance and use of a no spray register.

Monitoring
Herbicide use will be monitored and reported annually to each responsible contract manager. The report will identify total herbicide used in the past year by active ingredient, function (i.e., reason for vegetation management) and category of location. It will assess the effectiveness of the programme in meeting the intended goals.

Implementation
A weed management regime giving effect to the principles of this policy will be defined for each category of area maintained by the Council. This regime will be set out in the code of practice for herbicide use in:

  • the area’s maintenance contract or service level agreement where applicable
  • operational procedures where areas are not maintained under contract.
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