Poisonous plants

One of your health and safety responsibilities as a board of trustees is to protect people at your school from poisonous plants. You need to check for and dispose of poisonous plants.

Protecting people from poisonous plants

A number of plants, shrubs and trees in New Zealand are poisonous to people. Many of them are common garden plants.

Poisonous plants at your school are a hazard that you must manage to keep people at the school safe. These people include students, staff and anyone else using the school grounds.

As part of managing your overall health and safety responsibilities, we recommend you review your school’s health and safety systems against the 11 key components of an effective health and safety system.

This will help you meet the requirements of the:

Checking for poisonous plants

Check for poisonous plants that may be:

  • growing at your school
  • hanging over the school fence from neighbouring properties where students can reach them.

To identify poisonous plants, refer to factsheets from Landcare Research.

Disposing of poisonous plants

The best disposal method will depend on the type of plant.

Some options are to:

  • pull out plants and burn or compost them (if no seed heads are present).
  • take the plants to your council landfill, after checking with your council that it will accept them
  • spray the plants.

Before you use spray, you need to know about using agrichemicals in schools:

For advice about the best option, contact:

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