LocalMatters       

Chemical accused of killing

Posted at 11:30am Tuesday 04 Jun, 2019

Stanmore Bay resident Stephan Gladiadis believes a glyphosate-based weedkiller is to blame for killing three small kowhai trees on the Waiora Reserve.

Stephan, who lives near the reserve, says the trees have been bare for some time, resulting in tui no longer returning to the park.

“You used to be able to hear the tui all day,” Stephan says. “Now, you only see the odd bird return to the bare trees before leaving again, it's so sad.”

Auckland Council is currently investigating and has already visited the reserve to try and determine the cause of the kowhai's declining health.

Stephan remains adamant that Roundup is the cause.

“The council has been spraying the base of the trees over the last few years, and we have seen their steady decline,” Stephan says. “I would much prefer it if the council went back to getting rid of weeds manually because there are kids from Stanmore Bay Primary, including mine, who walk through the reserve and may be getting exposed to the chemicals.”

The Hibiscus & Bays Local Board, which oversees parks and reserves is incentivising contractors to use less chemicals, but they are still used for weed control if deemed necessary.

Stephan says that if the spraying stopped, he would happily plant fruit trees in the reserve, too.

“It would be so cool for the kids to come through and pick fruit while walking to school, but there is no point in doing that until the spraying stops.”

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