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4 December 1996
The Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed media reports that it is to lay charges as a result of an alleged incident of spray drift of the herbicide 24-D in Waiotira in Northland last year.
However, the Ministry said that, contrary to those reports, the charge would not be laid against Marine Helicopters. The identity of the defendant will not be revealed until the summons had been served.
One information had been laid in the Whangarei District Court for an alleged breach of Regulation 10(1) of the Pesticides Regulation 1983. This states:
10(1) Every person commits an offence against these regulations who applies or causes to be applied any herbicide in such a manner that damage results to any other property other than the property on which the herbicide was applied or was intended to be applied.
In the case in question, spray drift from aerial spraying of 24-D one farm in the area is alleged to have caused damage to pine trees on a another property.
The hearing has been set down for 30 January 1997.
Media inquiries to Jockey Jensen, MAF Regulatory Authority Enforcement Unit (09) 357 6472