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Plant Pests Under Spotlight in Pest Strategy

Raglan’s plant pests - such as woolly nightshade and boneseed - are under the spotlight in Environment Waikato’s proposed Regional Pest Management Strategy.

Environment Waikato has proposed a new strategy to attack plant and animal pests in the Region. It outlines how it will manage plant and animal pests over the next five years. There are management programmes, with different levels of regional participation proposed, for 71 plant pests, such as old man’s beard, spartina and privet and 22 animal pests, such as possums, goats, koi carp and magpies.

In the Raglan area woolly nightshade and boneseed are spreading and Environment Waikato intends to enforce a total control standard. Woolly nightshade can rapidly invade poorly managed land and forest margins, sometimes totally excluding regeneration of native plants.
Boneseed can completely replace low coastal and open island vegetation, shading out seedling trees such as pohutukawa and preventing access to beach areas.

Under the new proposed rules, Environment Waikato can enforce the removal of privet in both urban and rural areas if a neighbour makes a health related complaint. Privet is linked to triggering asthma in sufferers at certain times of the year. Its berries are poisonous and can make children and stock ill. It is also acknowledged as a serious ecological pest.

There are also changes proposed in the approach to cleaning up roadside verges. Transit New Zealand is responsible for all state highway verges from “fence to fence” and local roads have a mix of different responsibilities.

Written submissions must be in to the Council by Friday, November 23. Hearings will be held in March next year.

Copies of the Strategy are available from Environment Waikato’s offices in Hamilton, Paeroa and Taupo, public libraries and on the Council’s website, www.ew.govt.nz(external link), or from Environment Waikato's Freephone 0800 800 401.

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