Permitting Poison: Pesticide Regulation in Aotearoa New Zealand
(2018) 35 EPLJ 456-490
60 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2018 Last revised: 12 Oct 2021
Date Written: July 31, 2018
This article discusses aspects of the New Zealand regulation of pesticides, in the light of current concerns about global losses of biodiversity. It first briefly outlines current pesticide testing and concerns with pesticide risk assessment. Part II addresses the New Zealand pesticide laws, including a brief history of New Zealand pesticide regulation in order to provide some perspective for the following description of the current Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (NZ). Two case studies are provided: the regulation of neonicotinoids and chlorpyrifos. Part III discusses two key areas for improvement: the role of precaution and alternative frameworks for pesticide regulation, most notably ecosystem-based management and true ecological sustainability. It concludes that the current model of integrated management from the 1990s is now outdated. Pesticide regulation in New Zealand needs to consider a wider range of effects of pesticides on human health and the environment, be more precautionary in order to better avoid adverse effects, and take greater account of Māori values and interests. Overall, the wider role of pesticide regulation as part of the management of global biodiversity needs to be acknowledged, with it forming part of a global move to stem the loss of biodiversity worldwide.
Note: This is the author’s submitted draft of the article that appears in the Thompson Reuters journal (paid subscription).
Keywords: Pesticides, New Zealand, Neonicotinoids, Chlorpyrifos, EBM, Precaution, Biodiversity
JEL Classification: K1, K2, K11, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation