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Published: 2005-02-25 00:00:00

Flowering privet is causing problems for asthma and hayfever sufferers around the Waikato Region and Tuakau residents are required to control it on their properties.

Privet (Ligustrum lucidum -Tree privet and Ligustrum. sinense – Chinese privet) is a common sight around the Region, and the heavily scented flowers often aggravate asthma and hayfever in many people.

Under Environment Waikato’s Regional Pest Management Strategy privet is listed as a plant pest and landowners are responsible for controlling it. However, because it is so prevalent in the Waikato landowners are only required to remove it when Environment Waikato has received a health related complaint from a nearby resident - unless a community agrees to tighter controls.

In 2002 Tuakau residents agreed to greater control of privet within the town, and a community initiative was launched in conjunction with the Tuakau Community Board and Environment Waikato’s Plant Pest Contractors, West Waikato Weeds Ltd.

Tuakau is a ‘privet free zone’, with all landowners in the area required to remove privet from their property. Owners are responsible for carrying out the control work. Where it is used as a hedge, shrubs must be kept trimmed over the next three months to prevent flowering and then progressively removed over the next 12 months.

Landowners wanting information or advice on plant pest control can contact Environment Waikato’s Plant Pest Contractor on 0800 BIOSECURITY, or Environment Waikato's Freephone 0800 800 401.