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New Pesticide Rules

Since January 1 2005 you need to comply with new controls under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act.

What should you do?
  • You need to find out whether the pesticides you use require you to become an “approved handler”. 
  • The most hazardous pesticides will also be “tracked” which means they are subject to more rigorous control and you will nee to become an “approved handler” to obtain these. 
  • To find out if the pesticides you use require you to be an approved handler, see the ERMA New Zealand website.
 When do I need to become an approved handler?
  • After January 1 2005 you need a certificate to be an approved handler. 
  • These certificates are issued by test certifiers and last five years. 
  • If you have the necessary competence in handling pesticides under previous legislation then you can be deemed an approved handler for a two-year transition period from January 1, 2005.
  • To obtain transitional handler status you need to complete a declaration form which can be downloaded from ERMA’s website.
  • You will need to show this form to your supplier when you purchase any pesticide that requires an approved handler and tracking.
What if I have no experience?
  • You will need to be a fully certified approved handler.
  • You will need to contact a test certifier who can advise what is required.
  • You must demonstrate to the test officer that you know about the pesticides you are dealing with, the equipment you are using, and that you understand the HSNO legislation.
  • A register of test certifiers can be found on the ERMA website.
What records do I need to keep for tracked pesticides?
  • Tracked pesticides need a record to be kept of what happens to them throughout their lifecycle.
  • This is from point of import or manufacture in New Zealand through distribution to the point of uses or disposal.
  • Tracking records must be readily available and understandable if an enforcement officer requests to see them and should include:
  • A copy of the approved handler’s certificate held on file.
  • The name of the pesticide used and the amount held.
  • When and where the pesticide is used.
  • Disposal records
Do I need to keep a spray diary?

Use of many pesticides may require you to keep records of their application – more commonly known as a “spray diary”.
Records must include:

  • The name of the pesticide
  • The date of application
  • The time of application
  • The amount applied
  • Where it was applied
  • The wind speed and direction (if applied in the air)
  • The name and address of the user
  • These records need to be kept for three years.
Where can I find more information?
  • ERMA New Zealand website (
  • For publications phone ERMA on 0800-327-646
  • For publications email ERMA This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • A range of compliance guides is available for arable farmers, dairy farmers, fruit growers, sheep and beef farmers, turf managers and vegetable growers.
  • Quick guides are available on approved handlers, location certificates and emergency management.
  • Get pesticide information by email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For pesticide information phone ERMA on 0800-376-234.