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Published: 2008-05-19 00:00:00

After nine years working with King Country land owners to control pest plants, Environment Waikato’s contractor Andy Laurenson and his wife Sara-Jane are “crossing the ditch” to start the next phase of their life in West Australia.

At Environment Waikato’s Pest Management Advisory Committee meeting held in Mahoenui Hall last week, Andy recalled with pride some of the projects he has worked on.

White bryony and old man’s beard are two notorious King Country pest plants which have consumed much of his time.  Both plants are now down to manageable levels where regular maintenance control keeps them in check.

Committee chairman Colin Dunstan, in presenting Andy with a token of appreciation on his departure, praised his “dedication and the professionalism he brought in providing the pest plant service for King Country residents”.

Andy’s knapsack has been temporarily passed to the experienced shoulders of neighbouring Environment Waikato contractor in the Waipa District, Chris Hale.

Chris will take over the pest plant officer role from 1 July. Cambridge-based Chris is no stranger to the area, having helped Andy out with various control operations, surveys and the sharing of results of different control methods over the last nine years.

To contact Chris after 1 July for your King Country pest plant enquiries please phone (0800) 246 732 and follow the voice prompts.  To discuss ways in which you can get involved in local weedbuster groups contact Environment Waikato on 0800 800 401.