Spartina spraying planned at selected Christchurch sites

Environment Canterbury, Christchurch City Council and the Department of Conservation are undertaking controlled application of the herbicide Haloxyfop-R (Gallant) to control the pest plant spartina.

The spraying is due to take place between 25-29 November 2019 at selected sites around the Avon/Heathcote Estuary, McCormacks Bay, Brooklands Lagoon and Lyttleton Harbour. This is part of an annual control programme aiming to eradicate spartina from Canterbury.

What chemicals are used?

The chemical Haloxyfop-R is applied to spartina at low tide to allow the maximum amount of time for the chemical to take effect. It is mixed and applied at the lowest concentrations to still be effective, and only to a very limited number of plants found in the area. At label rates, Haloxyfop-R is not harmful to birds, pets or humans.

What you need to know

As part of the permission from the Environmental Protection Authority to use this chemical, signage is required to be erected within 100 metres of application sites. This signage warns people to avoid contact with the water, including swimming, for a 24-hour period after spraying, or the taking of shellfish for a period of 10 days.

The aim of the signage is precautionary only; if a serious risk was posed by application of the spray, the associated restrictions and warnings would be far more severe and numerous.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call Rich Langley at Environment Canterbury on 027 839 3878.