Agricultural chemicals

Find out how to safely and legally dispose of used or unwanted agricultural chemicals (agrichemicals) and view a list of banned agrichemicals.

Banned and illegal agrichemicals

The importation, manufacture, and use of agricultural chemicals is regulated under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996.

Substances that have not been transferred to HSNO as of 1 July 2006 cannot legally be used in New Zealand unless a new HSNO approval is obtained, and the agrichemical remains registered under the Agricultural Chemicals and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997.

If you come across agrichemicals that are either banned or illegal to use, these should be stored until they can be disposed of appropriately.

For more information, including a list of banned substances, please see The Ministry for the Environment's website.

Persistent Organic Pollutants

In 2003, in accordance with the Stockholm Convention, the HSNO Act was amended to ban the import, manufacture, and use of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in New Zealand.

POPs include:

  • Aldrin
  • Chlordane
  • DDT
  • Dieldrin ndrin Heptachlor
  • HCB (Hexachloro – Benzene)
  • Mirex oxaphene (Camphechlor)

Other agrichemicals that are illegal to use are:

  • 2,4,5-T
  • BHC (Benzene Hexachloride)
  • Captafol
  • Nicotine Sulphate
  • Strychnine
  • Sulfallate


Endosulfan is a chemical used as an insecticide on crops and turf, in formulations.  It is illegal to import, manufacture, or use Endosulfan and formulations containing Endosulfan in New Zealand.

The prohibition is the outcome of a formal reassessment of the chemical by the Environmental Risk Management Authority, as empowered under HSNO.

It required all unused and partially-used stock of Endosulfan to be disposed of by 17 January 2010.

Safer Farms

The Safer Farms website provides a series of good practice guidelines to manage the risks on a farm.

The guideline for working safely with chemicals and fuel on farms helps farmers comply with the health, safety, and environmental regulations for chemicals and fuels.

Agrecovery Rural Recycling Programme

The Agrecovery Rural Recycling Programme provides New Zealand’s primary sector with responsible and sustainable systems for the recovery and recycling of persistent on-farm waste products.

Established in 2005, Agrecovery is a not-for-profit charitable trust put together by primary sector stakeholders.

Its nationwide services are available for farmers, growers, contractors, sports turf managers, vet clinics, and others within New Zealand's primary sector.

The aim of the programme is to provide a sustainable solution to help manage the sector’s impact on the environment and to meet increasing customer demands for best environmental practice.

Detailed information about how Agrecovery can help you deal with persistent waste on your farm or property.