Ed note: If you don’t want a probable carcinogen sprayed regularly in Auckland streets and parks you can make your vote count by using this guide below. (NB: If you also want to take into account the fluoride issue, then please check back at this website or our Facebook page because this information will be made available as soon as possible.)
The information below comes from the campaign to rid Auckland streets and parks of glyphosate.
For a few months now, we have been approaching and talking to as many candidates standing in the Auckland Council Elections as possible. The Mayoral candidates, the Ward candidates and the local board representatives.
We did this to “weed out the truth” and find out what their positions are on the issue of chemicals used on Auckland roads and parks (namely the most commonly used chemical – glyphosate).
Now that we are into the election period, you should be receiving your voting papers in the post.
We believe that the policies of your representatives should be transparent and available, and that on the issue of chemical vegetation control, where candidates typically don’t have a formal policy in place – we have to look to their opinions – as opinion will ultimately influence decision-making while in power.
Take a look at what your representatives think on our website here.
As of today (and we still aren’t finished yet) we have had a 32% rate of response. Of the 437 candidates standing, 302 are new. 70 of the 135 current Council members have responded and 72 out of the 302 new candidates have responded.
Quite a few of the new candidates are pretty difficult to get hold of. Hmm…An uncontactable public office hopeful? A contradiction in terms, but sadly a strategy employed by many.
What has the general response been like?
Overall: The overwhelming majority of responses have been against the use of chemicals on our roads and parks, but there are still many who still sit on the fence on this issue. They worry about cost and they worry about Auckland being overrun with weeds.
Responses rate: For those who are currently holding positions in council and running again for office, they would each have received approximately 5 direct emails and at least 1 or 2 phone contacts from our volunteers asking them to please respond. The low turn-out of response from these representatives does concern me – and sometimes a lack of response can be quite telling in itself, but i’ll let you make your minds up about that.
Conclusions: Interestingly, this process has really brought home to me that this issue is not as politically polarising as I thought it might be. It is not a left vs right issue, and those who have the most conservative policies are just as likely to agree with us as the most liberal.
If anything, this issue is an urban vs rural divide. It seems there is a pervasive view that without chemicals our biodiversity will take a hit and we will be unable to manage pest plants. Getting across that our concerns are about the use of chemicals on non-pest plants in public areas has been difficult.
Have a read about what your candidates think about the issue of chemical vegetation control on our website:
Where to from here?
Firstly, we need Aucklanders who care, to vote for candidates who care too.
Once we have achieved that, we need to ensure that all of our Auckland Council Representatives are aware and knowledgeable on this issue and that the scene is set for change.
On the 1st September members of our group, Spray Free Streets, were joined by members of other groups, local board representatives, Steffan Browning, Green MP and even several children from Michael Park School who each pleaded with the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee for them to NOT review the Weed Management Policy.
We had a big win that day!
It was a great meeting where for the first time in a long time we saw members of the Committee finally speaking out about how the policy wasn’t the problem, the implementation of it was. They unanimously agreed not to review the policy (which was great in itself), but what was amazing was that they recommended to the incoming Council to look at the implementation of the policy as matter of urgency.
For the first time in a long time, the issue of dangerous chemicals on our roads and parks is top of the agenda.
Thanks to you, those people who will be representing Auckland in Council as of this year will be more aware and knowledgeable than ever before – and hopefully, they will care enough to do something about it.
Help us reach as many people as possible by sharing the responses page of our website and tell people a little about it:
Thank you for your ongoing support and help! Keep up the good work everyone – we are getting there.
About The NZ Journal of Natural Medicine
NB: The NZ Journal of Natural Medicine has run feature articles on glyphosate and health. Our online shop, where you can buy printed and PDF copies of our magazine is here.
You may also wish to read some of the articles in the Environmental Health section about glyphosate or fluoridation or other topics such as electromagnetic radiation.)
You may also enjoy our Facebook page which is here: https://www.facebook.com/The-NZ-Journal-of-Natural-Medicine-1556883684629639/