Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) has endorsed the warnings made recently by Waikato Regional Council (WRC) that agrichemical contractors operating without certification are breaching regulations.
Chief executive Roger Parton says RCNZ shares the concerns WRC – and other regional councils – have about unqualified and/or unregistered chemical applicators not been properly trained or qualified to spray agrichemicals.
“RCNZ has a Chemical Applicator accreditation programme to meet the needs of both our members and the industry.”
Mr Parton says the application of agrichemicals has to be carried out in a competent and professional manner to ensure the enhancement of the crop and the safety of the operator, the environment and the public.
He says there are two levels of agrichemical applicator accreditation available through Rural Contractors New Zealand:
– Basic Chemical Applicator
– Registered Chemical Applicator
These are personal accreditation held by the individual.
“Rural Contractors New Zealand has a strict policy in regards to any person applying agrichemicals in a public place or on private property for hire and reward,” Mr Parton explains.
“He or she has either got to be the holder of a Registered Chemical Applicator accreditation or have a Basic Chemical Applicator (or equivalent) accreditation and be operating under the immediate and direct supervision of the holder of a Registered Chemical Applicator accreditation.”
Mr Parton adds that all agrichemical contractors accredited through RCNZ carry wallet cards to prove their accreditation.
RCNZ also supports the council’s reminder about rules requiring neighbours to be notified before any spraying takes place.
“However, spraying can only take place when weather conditions are suitable and sometimes this does not permit the notification timeframes required in the rules,” he explains.
Meanwhile, Mr Parton says contractors wanting information about correct agrichemical application procedures, training, certification and safety will find all the necessary information under the chemical applicator section of the RCNZ website: www.ruralcontractors.org.nz .