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Published: 2016-10-31 00:00:00

Whitianga cubs and keas have helped Waikato Regional Council tackle the pest plant wild ginger, which can damage native bush if it gets out of control.

The weed-busting work was done at the Riverglen camp on the Coromandel’s Tapu-Coroglen road.

After a briefing from the council’s Whitianga-based pest plants biosecurity officer Benson Lockhart, the cubs and keas got stuck into wild ginger patches with trowels, spades and forks.

“We had a contractor do ginger control earlier in the year at the site,” says Benson.

“But it’s a hard plant to eradicate so it was good to go back at the weekend and pull up any fresh seedlings as well as clumps of older plants. These clumps had seed heads removed and underground stems and roots were dug out.”

The young workers were rewarded with weedbuster badges and stickers, while the Riverglen camp has kindly offered the group accommodation for a night which they are planning to use in mid-November when they will do some more ginger control.

“We’re very grateful for the way the kids have pitched in to help us with this important work. They had fun and were really enthusiastic about lending a hand to keep their backyard free of this pest plant,” says Benson.

Our picture shows Sarah Kate Lusby with a big wild ginger. Looking on is Ella Scott.