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Published: 2008-07-15 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has contracted Chris Hale of Pest Plant Management to protect the King Country from weeds that threaten the local environment and economy.

He takes over from former contractor Andy Laurenson, who recently left to work in Australia.

Mr Hale, based in Cambridge, has been controlling pest plants for Environment Waikato in the Waipa and east Waikato areas for 12 years.

He will make sure pest plants in the King Country are managed appropriately, guided by Environment Waikato’s Regional Pest Management Strategy.

Mr Hale’s role will include working with land owners to control old man’s beard and climbing spindleberry, which Environment Waikato is aiming to eradicate in the King Country.

“Although not currently widespread in the King Country, both species pose a serious threat to native forests and forestry crops,” he said.

Mr Hale will also be working with Te Kuiti, Kawhia and Otorohanga residents on privet control projects and carrying out surveys to check land owners are controlling the weed.

King Country residents who have any questions about pest plants can call Mr Hale on Environment Waikato’s free calling number, 0800 BIOSEC.

He can provide information to help with weed identification and control and can advise on land owners’ responsibilities to control pest plants.