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New Zealand Plant Protection 66 (2013): 380

Practical management of agrichemical risk: bridging the gap between regulation expectations and industry practice

D.W.L. Manktelow, N.M. Park, J.M. Maber, J.T.S. Walker and A.J. Hodson


Agrichemical users face increasing pressures to adhere to, and document, safe and responsible use practices. Many requirements are set by the Resource Management (RMA) and Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) legislation. Additional use and user requirements are dictated by market expectations for residues and adherence to different GAP programmes. Widespread adoption of industry relevant user training programmes is arguably the most effective way to achieve safe and effective agrichemical use in New Zealand. RMA requirements under all Regional Plans in the country require some level of agrichemical user training, with HSNO legislation requiring separate approved handler (AH) certification for at least one person on most properties. With over 50,000 farms and horticultural properties in NZ, the estimated agrichemical user trainee population is well over 100,000 people. GROWSAFE and AH certificate numbers from 2004-09 after the 2004 enactment of the HSNO legislation for agrichemicals averaged 9,900 per annum. These certificates are required to be renewed every 5 years, but average trainee numbers from 2008-12 dropped to only 4,950 per annum. Training requirements and outcome expectations are reviewed in light of these declining trainee numbers and a new, industry-focussed, training initiative is described.

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