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Published: 2012-07-04 00:00:00

The Coromandel Peninsula and the Hauraki Plains contain some of the country’s most beautiful spots and productive farm land.

Iain Baggaley

Iain next to one of several ancient cabbage trees in a reserve at
Hikuai, where a pest animal project is being
set up.

So Iain Baggaley has a strong passion for keeping on top of the animal and plant pests that can undermine environmental and economic goals in these adjoining areas.

“It’s vital we keep on top of the pests that can damage our amazing natural features and impinge on farm productivity,” says Iain, Waikato Regional Council’s Coromandel and Hauraki pest contractor, who lives near Hikuai township.

In pursuit of that goal, Iain’s activities include:

  • working very closely with a wide range of local community groups and neighbourhoods operating pest control schemes
  • providing pest control advice via the Biosecurity freephone - 0800 BIOSEC (0800 246 732)
  • assisting pest plant officer Hirini Rolleston with the direct control pest plant programme, including monitoring and surveillance.

It’s a busy and diverse role. A recent monthly report showed his activities ranged from providing technical advice to the Port Jackson Road Pohutukawa Protection Group to assessing rabbits burrowing into grave sites at Omahu.

“One of the most satisfying things about my job is assisting the local community groups and neighbourhoods to manage pests in their areas,” says Iain.

“A good example of what these groups do is Cooks Beach Dune Care, which undertakes control of weeds and replaces them with native grasses, activity which helps stabilise the dunes.

“The regional council is very keen to keep working very closely with local people, Thames-Coromandel District Council and the Department of Conservation in pursuit of our collective pest control goals.”

Anyone needing advice or assistance from Iain can contact him on 0800 246 732.