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Published: 2015-01-30 00:00:00

The sight of native orchids starting to sprout on the site of an old wild ginger infestation has reinforced the value of consistently attacking pest plants, says biosecurity officer Benson Lockhart.

Benson, from Waikato Regional Council, made the discovery recently while inspecting pest plant control on a 4.5 hectare Tairua property with owner Patrick Maenulein.

“Patrick and I were both stoked to see the native orchids starting to emerge in a gully where he had dealt to the extensive wild ginger outbreak there,” says Benson.

“Wild ginger creates an impenetrable mat and there’s no way these native orchids could have come through if it was still there.

“It’s a great example of how such restoration work can create a more beautiful, natural environment.”

The wild ginger control was part of extensive work by Patrick in recent years to control plant and animal pests on his land, a large part of which is covered by a QE2 covenant for environmental conservation purposes. The council has previously supported his work with funding for animal pest control.

“On the pest plant front, Patrick has put in a huge effort using machetes and sprays in an area that is steep and difficult terrain to access,” says Benson.

“A key to the ongoing success of this project and any pest plant control is regular monitoring to ensure that gains made are not lost.”