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More Controls on Ragwort

Environment Waikato is increasing control on ragwort in Maramarua from next year after requests from landowners.

When it reviewed its Pest Management Strategy, the Council received a number of submissions asking it to extend total control standards for nodding and plumeless thistle and ragwort to more parts of the Region.

It asked landowners in the Raglan and Maramarua areas what to do about the pests, sending out more than 900 survey forms.

Of the 136 people who responded, both plant pests were noted as significant issues and landowners commented that Environment Waikato should be more actively managing current boundary control standards for both plants. Maramarua already has total control standards for thistles.

In Raglan, there was good support for changing the pest status of both plants to total control, but at 59 percent it was still well short of the 75 percent threshold for change required under the strategy. In Maramarua the level of support for a change to ragwort standards was much higher at 74 percent.

This week’s Biosecurity Committee recommended that the current boundary control be retained for ragwort and nodding thistle in Raglan, and a rule change be adopted changing to total control for Maramarua from July 1, next year. Landowners who took part in the survey will be told of the outcome and an awareness programme undertaken in the area to ensure all landowners were aware of the rule.

The Council will increase its efforts in monitoring and inspections in Raglan to ensure compliance with ragwort and nodding thistle boundary control rules.

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