Spraying sparks complaint

16:00, Oct 15 2012
Weed spraying
WEED COMPLAINT: Contractors spray outside the community house while mums and children arrive, according to Beach Haven resident Yvonne Walus, who took this photo.

A complaint about chemical weed spraying near a busy North Shore community house has prompted the Auckland Council to stop contractors spraying after 8am near public facilities.

This follows complaints to the North Shore Times about weed spraying earlier in the year.

Chemical spraying near children walking to school in March prompted Auckland Transport to say it was "significantly unhappy" and sternly warn contractors.

The latest complaint involved Auckland Council contractors.

Mums were arriving with toddlers at the Beach Haven Community House and Early Learning Centre while contractors sprayed outside just after 9am on September 24, Yvonne Walus says.

"I was aghast that they would be spraying a poison and not have any signs up," Ms Walus says.


She was also surprised they were not using the non-toxic hot water spraying method that is still the preferred method under North Shore's weed policy.

The council says it spoke to contractors who say they were spraying outside the community house form 7.25am to 9.44am on September 21, not September 24.

The contractors said they did have the appropriate sign saying spraying was in progress and tried to get most of the work done before the community house opened, a council spokesman says.

"The Auckland Council contractors concerned complied with the current Auckland Council spray policy and used current industry best practice to minimise any possibility of spray drift."

But the council says it takes public complaints seriously and contractors in future won't spray after 8am in areas near public facilities.

"They will also make sure that the ‘spray in progress' sign is stand alone and not put up beside a number of other signs."

North Shore Times