A total of 66 submissions have been made to Environment Waikato’s revised Regional Pest Management Strategy.
The Council has proposed a second Strategy, which outlines the way it will manage plant and animal pests over the next five years. The strategy has 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.
This week’s Biosecurity Committee heard that of the 66 submissions, there were 36 new submitters which indicated some new ideas would be added. Submissions closed on November 23 and hearings will be held in March next year to allow people to speak to their submissions.
In the annual report on implementing the current strategy, Biosecurity Group Manager John Simmons said a great deal had been achieved in the first year, with a number of new policies and initiatives achieved smoothly.
Highlights included implementing an initial possum control scheme at Waingaro-Pukemiro, north west of Hamilton, including intensive possum control in one high-ranking key ecological site. A total of 2,400 possums were trapped in a 240 hectare area. Six different large-scale community possum control schemes are now implemented, covering 68,500 hectares and involving 254 landowners.
A total of 1632 plant pest control programmes were issued, 899 in rural areas and 733 in urban, demonstrating that there were almost as many urban plant pest problems as rural problems, although problem plants were different for each sector. And area of 120 hectares infested with alligator weed was sprayed in November last year and March this year.
The report will be published on the Council's website to save up to $10,000 in the cost of producing a " glossy report”.