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Last month, Mitre 10 NZ, after due deliberation, announced it would be phasing out all products containing neonicotinoids from its stores from November this year.
The decision follows its review started early this year of three pesticides (imidacloprid, thiacloprid and clothianidin), all containing neonicotinoids believed to contribute to bee decline.
“We recognise there is growing concern around neonicotinoid use and have decided to remove products containing neonicotinoids from our shelves,” says Mitre 10 CEO, Neil Cowie.
Mitre 10 Westport’s Kevin Scanlon for one supports the removal of products containing neonicotinoids from his shelves.
“The research really tells the story here and I think that removing them is something that’s just got to happen so we fully support the decision to phase them out,” he says.
Bunnings Warehouse also announced in January that it will be phasing out neonicotinoids this year.
While many, including New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), feel that there isn’t enough evidence to support the phasing out of these chemicals, the stance of both Kiwi retailers seems to be one of erring on the side of caution.
The move to phase out neonicotinoids comes alongside a general shift in the public favouring more organic alternatives in weed and pest control that both retailers and suppliers are responding to when ranging and developing products.
Also in August, a US worker was awarded NZ$440 million after he alleged products containing the broad-spectrum systemic herbicide Glyphosate, such as Roundup from Bayer-owned Monsanto, caused his Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Monsanto is currently appealing the decision but since then the number of lawsuits against Monsanto has risen into the thousands.
And now some New Zealand media pundits are calling for Roundup to be phased out here too.
Opinion is divided on this issue, with organisations like agri-advocacy group AGCARM arguing that the cases against the use of both glyphosate and neonicotinoids are based on fear mongering, rather than research.
At present the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) says that both neonicotinoids and Glyphosate are safe, if used as directed.
AHM Group General Manager, Lorraine Els, shares her thoughts on the use of Glyphosate:
“The consumer’s health and safety is our number one priority.
“We’ve been following the case (in the US) and we’ve also been in contact with the EPA, and at this stage we are following their lead in terms that the product is still safe to use considering that you’re keeping in line with normal health and safety requirements and safe handling procedures,” she says.
AHM is currently putting out educational pieces in-store and adding extra labels to its products reiterating safe handling procedures.
AHM, along with other suppliers, is also looking into more organic herbicide alternatives.
After calling around the channel I can confirm that at least one other supplier currently selling Glyphosates will also be following EPA guidelines and continuing to offer the product.
Unlike neonicotinoids, Glyphosates are still available in most major retailers and the feeling among suppliers is that they will let the market decide.
We will keep you up to date on these issues as and when further developments occur.
Green to the Max!
Tui LawnForce Max Green liquid fertiliser is formulated to deliver results for New Zealand lawns. LawnForce Max Green is engineered as a convenient liquid formulation to improve lawns in as little as three days, and contains essential nutrients for up to 12 weeks of sustained feeding. The ProGrade technology is trusted by major golf courses and sports arenas across the country.
Keep those green thumbs safe
Showa has some new and updated gloves to protect green thumbs this spring. The Showa 341 combines the Showa original grip with a lightweight liner. The Grip series coating technology has been improved for this version that also features a breathable back hand to reduce perspiration, a high level of dexterity, softness and tactility and advanced grip technology.
The Showa 306 is ideal for potting plants and planting seeds as it keeps hands clean and dry, has an engineered full foam aerated latex coating, extra grip coating on palm, breathable coating technology for reduced perspiration when it’s hot yet warmth and dryness in wet conditions. Soft comfort and premium fit thanks to Showa hand shape technology.
The Ultra-Leather Pruner is ideal not only for pruning but offers full lower arm protection when cutting back bushes and shrubs. It features a leather palm, suede leather back of hand and cuff for protection against prickles and thorns and an elbow length cuff.
Transform your outdoor spaces
As seen on The Block NZ, Firth’s Designer Series paving range lets users combine colours, textures and sizes to create beautiful outdoor living spaces, paths and patios. This stylish tile-look paver is honed to expose its aggregate and each 50mm paver has lugs for easy spacing. The series also has interchangeable sizing for greater versatility in design and patterning. Designer Series pavers are protected with Nano-technology, so they are easy to maintain and stay looking great year round.
Gardena’s got your hand tools sorted
This August saw Gardena release a brand new range of Hand Tools covering all aspects of green fingered work. All six tools in the new range have ergonomically formed comfort handles with soft components to provide increase handling comfort and angled ends prevent hand slippage. Top-quality steel and a Duroplast coating protect the hand tools against corrosion, make them dirt-repellent and extremely sturdy. Gardena offers a 25-Year Warranty on all of the hand tools.
Finally an electric wheelbarrow!
New to NZ Wheelbarrows Landscaping is the E-Barrow. Building on the success of the Tradesman Power Barrow, this new power-assisted wheelbarrow takes a lot of the physical stress out of construction, landscaping or concreting work and improves speed and productivity. Featuring a 48 Volt, 500 Watt hub motor powered by a Lithium-ion battery, the E-Barrow will run for several days of commercial use before needing recharging and its tough tub and frame are built to take knocks and can be hosed down at the end of the day.
Weeds better watch out
The Fiskars Xact Weed Puller is designed for the effortless removal of weeds. Its simple and ergonomic design eliminates the need for bending, kneeling and using chemicals for weed removal. The deep reaching claws grab the root from all directions and remove the weed cleanly while an ejection system helps release the weed after it has been removed from the soil, allowing for work upright at all times. Comes with a 25-year warranty.
Free blower with a mower
Purchasers of Makita’s new DLM461PT2 5.0Ah Combo Kit can now receive a free 18v X2 (36v) Lxt Brushless Cordless Blower (DUB362Z) via redemption.
The Kit includes the DLM461Z mower Skin tool, two 5.0Ah batteries and a dual charger. The DLM461Z LXT Brushless Cordless 460mm (18”) Metal deck Mower has a 4 ﬂail swing back blade, 16-71 mm cutting height, 60 litre grass box capacity with level indicator, no-load speed of 2,500 RPM and running time of 45mins of run time using both batteries.