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Published: 2001-11-15 00:00:00

Urban pests such as privet, wasps and magpies are under fire in Environment Waikato’s proposed Regional Pest Management Strategy.

The Council has proposed a new strategy to attack plant and animal pests in the Region. The strategy outlines the way 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.

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. Under the new proposed rules, Environment Waikato can enforce its removal in both urban and rural areas if a neighbour makes a health related complaint.

There are new rules for land occupiers who are required to deal with wasps and magpies where nests are found on properties and are causing problems that lead to a complaint. This rule is particularly aimed at gardens and parks for public health and safety.

Previously, there were no rules about who was responsible for these seasonal problems.

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. People can also obtain a copy from Environment Waikato's Freephone 0800 800 401.