Environment Waikato is encouraging Transit NZ and Hauraki District Council to remove privet from roadsides and council land in a blitz on the plant pest.
Chairman Neil Clarke said Environment Waikato received a number of complaints in spring from sufferers of asthma and allergies arising from flowering privet.
“Over the past few years a public awareness programme on privet and removal of offending hedges and trees has been undertaken. The initiatives taken by Vic Bowen and his associates to remove privet from the township have been greatly appreciated by Environment Waikato.”
The Council follows up any complaints, and assists and promotes community initiatives.
“Environment Waikato has been talking with Transit NZ and drawn their attention to privet on state highways, and will continue to encourage them to take action. Where substantial hedgerows and farm shelter need to be removed, no immediate solutions are feasible.
“Individual landowners are encouraged to carry out removal of privet to make Paeroa privet free. People can get advice on identification and control methods from Environment Waikato’s Plant Pest Officer Jeff Jeffrey and fact sheets are available on control of all plant pest species.”
He said the extent to which privet pollen causes allergies in not known, but Environment Waikato had agreed to fund a study to determine what benefits privet removal had on affected people.