Watercare’s Waikato River water take hearing deferred for a week

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

05 October 2021

Due to the COVID-19 alert level change for parts of the Waikato, a Board of Inquiry has deferred its hearing on an application to draw an additional 150 million litres of water a day from the Waikato River for Auckland City’s water supply network by one week.

Fast-track panel approves West Auckland subdivision

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

01 October 2021

An expert consenting panel has approved the subdivision and construction of Nola Estate in the west Auckland suburb of Glen Eden.

Views sought on potential phase out of kiwifruit spray ingredient

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

Hydrogen cyanamide is banned in Europe, and its re-registration is currently under review in the United States. In New Zealand, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is undertaking a reassessment of the substance, which is primarily sprayed on bare kiwifruit orchards to help buds form after winter.

“While we accept that there are economic benefits from hydrogen cyanamide use, new information suggests these are outweighed by the environmental risks and adverse health effects,” says Dr Chris Hill, General Manager of the EPA’s Hazardous Substances group.

“As part of our reassessment of this substance, we’ve carried out an initial assessment of the information now available and produced draft recommendations.

“The EPA is currently proposing a gradual phase-out of the use of hydrogen cyanamide, leading to a total ban in five years. This would allow existing stock to be used up, for growers to get familiar with alternatives, and for the introduction of additional alternatives to New Zealand.

“Our final recommendations to the decision-making committee will take into consideration the information received in this public consultation process. The committee, which makes the ultimate call on this reassessment, also receives the public submissions.”

Hydrogen cyanamide is not for domestic use; it can only be applied by trained professionals in commercial settings. For those who work with the spray, repeated exposure over time is toxic to the reproductive system and thyroid.

“We are proposing that hydrogen cyanamide be reclassified as a suspected carcinogen, with an updated warning that it is corrosive to the skin and eyes,” says Dr Hill.

WorkSafe NZ advice released today also notes concerns for the health of workers, and the ability of professional users to appropriately manage the risks of hydrogen cyanamide.

“We acknowledge that concerns have existed about this substance for some time. This is the opportunity for all interested parties to have their say,” says Dr Hill.

Submissions are open until 5.00 pm on 26 November 2021.

Get further details and make a submission

Find out about the reassessment process


Hydrogen cyanamide has been used in New Zealand since 1988.

There are currently six hydrogen cyanamide products registered. They are Hi-Cane, Treestart, Hortcare Hi-break, Synergy HC, Gro-Chem HC-50 and Cyan. These products are restricted to commercial use only.

In September 2019, an EPA Decision-making Committee decided that grounds exist to reassess this substance after significant new information on hazards and risks emerged in a report from the European Food Safety Authority.

Last year, the EPA opened a public call for information about hydrogen cyanamide. Since then, work has been underway to review the responses and prepare the reassessment application.

Reassessments are determined by a Decision-making Committee. The outcome can range from no change to controls (or usage rules), modifications or restrictions to controls, or revoking the approval for a substance altogether.

Fast-track panel approves Dominion Road development

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

29 September 2021

An expert consenting panel has approved a mixed-use residential, retail, and commercial development on Auckland’s Dominion Road.

Extra month added to glyphosate call for information

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

23 September 2021

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has further extended its call for information on the herbicide glyphosate.

Sinking lid on hydrofluorocarbons | EPA

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

21 September 2021

As part of moves to reduce the use of harmful greenhouse gases, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has released its third annual decision on special permits to import hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Fast-track panel declines consent for Nelson subdivision

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

17 September 2021

An expert consenting panel has today declined to grant fast-track consent for The Vines subdivision in Richmond, south of Nelson.

Submissions open on Tui oil field decommissioning consent application

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

14 September 2021

Public submissions are now open on a marine consent application for activities associated with decommissioning the Tui oil field off the coast of Taranaki.

Have your say on an application to extend the phase-out period for three insecticides

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

09 September 2021

We’re calling for submissions on an application to allow three organophosphate chemicals, which had time-limited approvals, to be used in New Zealand for longer.

First step towards reassessing chlorothalonil

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

27 August 2021

A Decision-making Committee of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has found that grounds exist to reassess the fungicide chlorothalonil, and substances containing it.