Environment Waikato’s 2007-2012 Regional Pest Management Strategy (RPMS) was officially adopted at today’s council meeting in Hamilton.
The strategy is a five-year plan setting out how the council will manage plant and animal pests to protect the Waikato environment and economy, and public health.
“Animal and plant pests are a huge problem right across New Zealand,” said Environment Waikato chairman Jenni Vernon.
“They can devastate our native flora and fauna, threaten our economy and contribute to the degradation of our rivers and streams.”
A revised version of Environment Waikato’s 2002-2007 RPMS, the updated strategy reflects changes that have occurred in the pest management field over the past five years.
The RPMS review focussed on four main considerations:
- the importance of continuing pest control where Animal Health Board funded possum control is being phased out
- the council’s new responsibilities to protect and enhance biodiversity, following amendments to the Resource Management Act in 2003
- the need to address the contribution of possums, goats and other pests to erosion and flooding problems within catchments
- the importance of achieving an equitable system to fund pest control.
A discussion document outlining proposed changes to the RPMS was sent to key stakeholders late last year, and the draft plan was released for public consultation from March 7 to April 10. The council received 356 submissions on its proposals.
A hearings committee considered all submissions and put forward recommendations to the council, which were approved and adopted today.
More information about the 2007-2012 Regional Pest Management Strategy is available on Environment Waikato’s website, www.ew.govt.nz.