Rangitikei Mail reports on Rangitikei District Council’s Spraying decision

Spraying Decision Dismays

By Caroline Brown

A Marton resident says she is disappointed with the council’s decision to continue using a chemical-based herbicide for weed control.

Pam Vernon claims the council has side-stepped health concerns about the main active ingredient of Roundup – glyphosate – and instead focused on cost.

The Rangitikei District Council voted on March 26 to maintain existing methods of weed control and to formally establish no-spray lists. Residents choosing to be on the no-spray list would be responsible for the upkeep of the land.  The council contracts the spraying of urban areas to Fulton Hogan.

The council requested a report on alternative methods to chemical spraying for weeds after Vernon raised her concerns around the safety of current methods in a presentation at the end of last year.

Non-chemical sprays, pastes, gas burning and hot water treatment were investigated in the report as alternative options for the treatment of weeds. The council report indicated that cost was a prohibitive factor to many alternative methods.

At the meeting Cr Cath Ash questioned the report’s indication that hot water treatments were 15 times more expensive than herbicide and suggested the council contact some providers for quotes. Ash said the council had an obligation to consider alternative methods to chemical spraying in light of research by the University of Canterbury into the risks of glyphosate and the World Health Organisation suggesting glyphosate was a potential carcinogen.

Vernon said she also had issue with the report’s conclusion on the cost of hot water treatment. She said she had contacted a provider and was told that while at the moment it would be about 10 to 15 per cent more expensive by the end of this year it would be cost comparable.

Vernon said she decided to make a presentation to the council last year after ongoing issues with spraying around her property. She said it was good to finally have a formal no-spray register, however she did not think it went far enough.

“I believe the council are not really interested in finding another option.”

Mayor Andy Watson was not available for comment but in a statement endorsed the council’s decision based on the commissioned report.


5 thoughts on “Rangitikei Mail reports on Rangitikei District Council’s Spraying decision”

  1. Glyphosate is a herbicide that has been used in public spaces for decades. This chemical is very effective and dissappears quickly in the environment, posing no threat to animals and non target plants. It is unfair to claim that this product risk people health. Those claims should be properly substantiated before targeting glyphosate as dangerous.


    1. The claims are substantiated. Glyphosate is not biodegradable as claimed … France’s highest court ruled in 2009 that the company lied about its safety. Anyway, IARC & WHO have reviewed the research & literature & they disagree with you I’m afraid. With cancer stats now 1 in 2 for men, and 1 in 3 for women, and glyphosate now a class 2A carcinogen (probably causes cancer) then that is enough risk for me to want to avoid it. Not rocket science really. Look at the tumours on Prof Seralini’s rats … 2 years of GE food (laced with glyphosate) and water with very low concentrations of glyphosate. Who needs cancerous tumours?


    2. I’ve just seen your blog Anlizpa & your thoughts on Glyphosate. Do check out my page here on Glyphosate. I have recorded there all the vast body of research on it. It has been linked to many other medical conditions including birth defects. Particularly, look at Prof Seralini’s research. The video is there. In my country some parts of our largest city are glyphosate free thanks to the work of Dr Meriel Watts who has written books on the health risks. There is a link on the page also to her website and books. Thanks for commenting and good luck with your almond orchard : )


  2. Thank you for your blog and the reply that you have given to my comment on glyphosate in public places. I was not aware of the health risks of glyphosate. The pictures of the white rats with tumours is very impressive. I had a tumor in my parotid gland when I was 16. I had another in the same place at 32.

    I am a part time farmer who never uses herbicides. I try not to use pesticides. I have only used glyphosate once and have no plans for using it again:


    1. You’re very welcome. And most people don’t know of the health risks … they’ve been kept very quiet. I hope you’ve recovered from the tumours & well again & great to hear you’re not going to keep using it. There are organic alternatives if look around. : )


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