The Green Party has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to pay more attention to the effects of some pesticides on New Zealand's bee populations.

A report released by the Local Government and Environment Committee indicates pesticides containing neonicotinoids can have a detrimental affects on the health of bees, which are an important part of ecosystems and agricultural operations nationwide.

The Committee report resulted from former Green MP Sue Kedgley holding a petition which asked the government to put a stop to the use of pesticides with neonicotinoids.

The government has responded by saying the Environmental Protection Agency already has stringent controls over the substances, but the Green Party thinks the issue should receive more acknowledgement.


"The government needs to pay closer attention to the Hazardous Substances Act (HZNO) and halt the use of neonicotinoids because of their potential to destroy our beekeeping industry," says Green agriculture spokesperson Steffan Browning.

"Neonicotinoids have been implicated in bee deaths around the world. The European Commission in 2013 put restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids across Europe due to concerns about their impact on pollinators, especially bees."

Browning says the government and the Ministry for Primary Industries are failing New Zealand's bees, and also its beekeepers.

"New Zealand allows dozens of products containing neonicotinoids approved for agricultural use, and there appears to be little or no interest in monitoring these harmful substances. This is simply not good enough given that the New Zealand's National Beekeepers Association estimates that bees contribute $5.1 billion to New Zealand's economy."

He says the government urgently needs to reconsider its response to Kedgley's petition, and stop "playing Russian roulette" with a valuable asset of the country's agricultural industry.

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