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Special rate funds possum operations

Environment Waikato has made a Special Order to make a separate rate to deal with possums in the Whitehall – Te Tapui area.

Landowners in the area supported the special rate, which applies to about 70 landowners or occupiers in the area between Cambridge and Matamata. The group have had problems controlling possums on their land, despite forming a pest control scheme with Environment Waikato’s assistance.

The scheme was implemented in June 1999 and initial work successfully reduced possum numbers to 4.6 percent residual trap catch. Landowners dealt with easier country themselves.

But monitoring early last year showed disappointing results and the steering group decided to look at options.

Last April most landowners voted for a separate rate, which they saw as being of wider community benefit. A further survey of all landowners was completed to ensure no views were left out and landowners overwhelmingly supported the idea of employing a contractor to undertake control work in the area. The landowners have been kept informed of the plans with newsletters and public notices.

The new rate is $3.50 plus GST per hectare a year on all properties within the scheme. With this funding a contractor will be employed to undertake possum control on an eighteen-month basis to achieve below a 5% residual trap catch target over all the Scheme area.

Cr Jim Howland said the community scheme was a credit to the steering committee and landowners and showed the value of a community working together for a common goal. The special rate would allow the area to be targeted directly.

This media item was current at its release date. The facts or figures it contains may have changed since its original publication.

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