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Smothering, strangling, and killing – the threat from pest plants and animals

Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
Smothering, strangling, displacing, infecting, browsing, killing. There are many ways pest plants and animals can undermine our biodiversity and primary production and, as a consequence, seriously threaten the health of our native and productive plants and animals.

Greater Wellington Regional Council’s proposed Regional Pest Management Plan, now out for public consultation, focuses squarely on protecting and enhancing the health and vitality of the region’s environment.

It charts how we can work together as a community to create sustainable regional biosecurity by eradicating, containing or controlling the pest plants and animals that compromise our environment.

“For our native plants and animals to thrive without threat we have to remain vigilant, take the most up-to-date approach to pest management and work with others to anticipate and manage the challenge posed by pest plants and animals,” says Greater Wellington General Manager, Biodiversity, Wayne O’Donnell.

The proposed plan outlines the framework for efficiently and effectively managing or eradicating specified organisms in the Wellington region.

“The plan will minimise the adverse environmental effects of pest plants and animals through co-ordinating activity which will exclude them from the region, reduce their number or contain and monitor them in particular locations,” says Mr O’Donnell.

The proposed plan will update its 10 year old predecessor and ensure it is consistent with the Government’s National Policy Direction for Pest Management. Once agreed it will remain in force for 20 years.

The proposed plan sits within a biosecurity framework supported by a number of complementary policies and plans, including Greater Wellington’s Biodiversity Strategy, the Key Native Ecosystem Programme and Wellington City Council’s “Our Nature Capital – Wellington’s biodiversity strategy and action plan 2015.”

“Biodiversity matters, it enriches our natural environment and our lives, but it isn’t a given. Restoring and sustaining our natural capital will take resources, effort and commitment. The proposed plan draws these factors together.”

The public is invited to provide its feedback on the proposed plan until 27 July. Copies of the plan and the submission form and process can be found at https://haveyoursay.gw.govt.nz/pestplan

What biosecurity techniques will be used?

The strategy proposes to control pests and organisms using the following approaches:

• Exclusion: to stop them getting into, or moving into, new parts of the region

• Eradication: to remove them over time

• Progressive containment: to reduce their number and spread over time

• Sustained control programme: to reduce their impact

• Site-led programme: to exclude or eradicate them to protect particularly valuable places.

What are we managing and how are we doing it?

Pest plants
Plant Management technique
Nassella tussock Exclusion
Chilean needle grass Exclusion
Alligator weed Exclusion
Moth plant Eradication
Senegal tea Eradication
Spartina Eradication
Velvetleaf Eradication
Woolly nightshade Eradication
Purple loosestrife Progressive containment
Banana passionfruit Site-led (Hutt City Council)
Cathedral bells Site-led (Hutt City Council)
Old man’s beard Site-led (Hutt City Council)
Boneseed Sustained control
Climbing spindleberry Sustained control
Eelgrass Sustained control
Pest animals
Animal Management technique
Wallaby (Bennett’s and dama) Exclusion
Rook Eradication
Mustelids (ferrets, stoats and weasels) Site-led
Pest cat Site-led
European hedgehog Site-led
Feral goat Site-led
Rat (Norway and Ship) Suite-led
Feral rabbit Sustained control
Magpie Sustained control
Wasp (common, paper and German) Sustained control
Possum Sustained control/site-led

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