According to a local Green Party press release just issued, Napier is one of 18 councils in New Zealand using a highly toxic insecticide, Endosulfan, to treat sports fields in its parks — at Taradale Park, Marewa Park and Whitmore Park.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Endosulfan:

“Endosulfan is a neurotoxic organochlorine insecticide of the cyclodiene family of pesticides. It is an endocrine disruptor, and it is highly acutely toxic. It is banned in the European Union, Cambodia, and several other countries, while its use is restricted in other countries, including the Philippines (where it will be banned after September 2008). It is still used extensively in many countries including India, New Zealand and the United States … Because of its high toxicity and high potential for bioaccumulation and environmental contamination, a global ban on the use and manufacture of endosulfan is being considered under the Stockholm Convention.”

Sounds like pretty nasty stuff. But to get a full taste of how dangerous Endosulfan is to human health, read here at Wikipedia the full description of its many effects. Or, from the Green Party national release:

“Endosulfan is a highly toxic insecticide which affects people’s hormonal system, and is linked to breast cancer, endometriosis, male breast enlargement and delayed sexual maturity. It can cause birth defects, and is linked to epilepsy, autism, cerebral palsy, lowered IQ, and Parkinson’s disease.”

Other Councils in Hawke’s Bay use safe alternatives for the same purposes, or no insecticides at all. Auckland banned the use of Endosulfan in the mid-nineties. Leading manufacturer Bayer CropScience has pulled the product from the market in the U.S.

So BayBuzz would like Mayor Arnott, CEO Neil Taylor, or some other employee of the ratepayers of Napier to explain:

1. Is the Green Party making up this fantasy?

2. Do you have secret information, not available to the European Union, that Endosulfan is indeed safer than suntan lotion?

3. Assuming the answer to #1 and #2 is NO, who at Napier City Council makes bonehead decisions like this … “Hmmm, let’s kill earthworms in sports fields with one of the most toxic chemicals we can find. The kids won’t notice.”


Join the Conversation


  1. From: The Chief Executive Officer. ***##** City Council

    To: Parks & Reserves Staff.


    The use of the highly effective poison, Endosulfan , is part of our program for sports parks known as ;

    Super Horrible Insecticide Treatment on the Park

    -other wise know as S..H.I.T. on the park.

    While the issue of dog dropping has been raised, it is clear that at least they are usually visibly and easily avoided, especially on a sports ground where the main users are young 'nimble people.

    However the use of Endosulfan is also part of our new program: :

    Careful Research Aggravating Poisoning on our young sportspeople. Or;

    CRAP on our young sportspeople.

    Any feed back is not welcome -as usual

    Niles Tinker

    **### City Council C.E.O..

  2. I'm not the Mayor or CEO, but according to today's paper, use of the offending toxin has ceased forthwith . I'd say it's a direct response to circulating this information from the Greens. Thanks Dave Head: both myself and Tony Jeffery copied your email and expressed our concerns to the Mayor and CEO yesterday. Maybe they already knew, but the outcome was what we all wanted.

    I'm curious as to why it was in the particular parks mentioned: was it for the Croquet green at Whitmore Park, the Marewa Bowls? Taradale?? And what about the other non-mentioned parks – what does the trick of killing "pests" there?

    Maybe instead of buying a pesticide, Council could ask the various clubs and codes to get their players to grab the worms making the mess and pop them in a nearby worm farm!

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