Upcoming Aerial Spraying Operations
NZ Forest Managers Ltd takes the protection of our environment very seriously. The sustainable management of plantation forests is very important to us and all operational decisions are made following a thorough assessment of the contributing factors and potential risks.
In regards to the use of agrichemicals, NZFM operates to the legal requirements of the Waikato Regional Plan and the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.
The intention of the notice that appeared in the local papers recently is to provide notification to the public of upcoming aerial spraying operations within exotic plantation forests managed by NZ Forest Managers Ltd. Following enquiries from the public, we would like to provide the following further information about the upcoming aerial spraying operations.
- The individual forest areas that will be treated are discrete compartments that have been harvested recently and will be replanted in pine seedlings this coming winter. Usually only one application is required in each compartment over the lifetime of the crop ( 25 -30 years).
- The operations will target herbaceous weed species including gorse, broom and blackberry solely within recently harvested areas of the plantation forests. Operational areas exclude areas of indigenous forest, waterways, roads and other unplanted areas (such as those utilised for beehives).
- The operations will be completed by a helicopter equipped with advanced GPS technology to apply the herbicide to the target area only. This is tightly controlled.
- The operations will only take place in favourable weather conditions to minimise the potential for spray drift. The period stated in the notice is to allow for periods of unfavourable weather. Aerial spraying will not be occurring continuously over three months.
- There is no public access to the forests. Road control/closure appropriate to the specific location is undertaken to ensure that no unauthorised entry occurs to the operational area. Those legally allowed within the forests are excluded from the area during any aerial spraying operation.
All operations undertaken within exotic plantation forests managed by NZ Forest Managers Ltd comply with all regulatory requirements. Further information can be found at:
New Zealand Standard - Management of Agrichemicals, NZS 8409:2004
NZ Forest Owner’s Association – The NZ Environmental Code of Practice for Plantation Forestry
Waikato Regional Plan, Section 6.2 – Discharge of Agrichemicals into Air