Waikato Regional Council’s chief executive is welcoming the Government’s proposal for new regulations to provide for a nationally consistent approach to pest control.
It follows an announcement by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith today, who released a consultation paper over standardising the regulatory regime for pest control, including 1080 and other toxins.
Dr Smith said the proposed regulations are a response to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report recommending a more standardised approach to pest control. Rather than each regional council having different pest control rules, standard controls set by the Environmental Protection Authority would apply.
Waikato Regional Council CEO Vaughan Payne said looking at such issues was in line with a letter the council wrote to central Government agencies last year, calling for a national approach to aspects of 1080 use.
“We wrote to those agencies in December following an independent review of the regional council’s use of 1080 last year.
“Our letters emphasised how we have been keen to work with others to make improvements in this area.
“The review highlighted significant complexities that exist with the national regulatory framework for 1080 and noted in its recommendations that there is a need to improve the quality of information provided to the public as part of operations.
“It said there is scope to improve on the provision of information about the risks associated with aerial operations at a national level.
“The proposals announced by the Government provide an opportunity for a more consistent, efficient and cost-effective approach to pest control, whether using 1080 or other methods, that would make work to protect our biodiversity and environment easier.”
Council chairperson Paula Southgate said: “The council will consider the consultation document in detail but supports ways of working smarter and with reduced costs to users and ratepayers.”