Authorities to consider review of popular kiwifruit spray after health concerns

A popular chemical used on kiwifruit orchards may be be reassessed after a Newshub investigation.

July's Because it Matters report highlighted concerns from Northlanders complaining hi-cane spray was having negative health effects on locals.

Kerikeri man John Levers told Newshub at the time "If it (kiwifruit) can't be grown safely then it shouldn't be grown at all," he said.

The chemical spray, known as Hi-Cane is legal but locals claim it's not being contained and may be leading to serious health issues. 

Leigh Bramwell complained about spray drift making its way into nearby waterways.

"We need to see some kind of monitoring, people to come along and make sure that spray drift is not getting into the water," she told Newshub.

The Regional Council has told Newshub it receives around 50 complaints of agri-chemical spraying each year.    

Kiwifruit growers use the spray at this time of year so the fruit is ready to pick all at once.

The Environmental Protection Authority says it will consider reassessing whether the spray should be used in New Zealand after learning significant new information,

It was made aware of a European Commission report which outlined the risks of the product to people close to orchards when Hi-Cane is being sprayed, as well as wildlife.