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Published: 2012-11-22 00:00:00

A retiring pest control contractor whose company holds an excellent track record in Waikato has been formally recognised at a meeting of the regional pest management committee.

Peter Nichols received a certificate for environmental achievement from committee chair Laurie Burdett in Hamilton today.

The committee heard that Mr Nichol's company Farm and Forest Pest Services Ltd had undertaken numerous possum control operations for the council since the late 1990s.

“The company holds one of the best track records of all of the council’s possum control contractors,” a staff report said.

Most of the work undertaken by the company for the council was in the north-west Waikato area and was instrumental in achieving a council vision of ‘unbroken’ possum control between Port Waikato and Raglan. The fact that the area is bounded on one side by the Tasman Sea and on the other by the Waikato River means the potential for reinvasion of possums from outside the area has been dramatically reduced.

Operational highlights of Farm and Forest Pest Services’ work for the council included:

  • Successful completion of 28 performance based contracts in 20 different locations since 2000, covering more than 210,000 hectares in total and to a very high standard.
  • The largest area treated at one time was more than 15,500 hectares.
  • Co-operative working with more than 2000 landowners on pest control.

One landowner, Ian McDougall from Pukekawa, said the local community had a high degree of confidence in Mr Nichol.

“Once I heard that Peter had the contract for work in my area I knew I didn’t have to worry about anything, as I know he would do the job, and do it well, and most landowners in the community would be happy,” said Mr McDougall who used to sit on a local council pest management committee.

Cr Burdett said: “Mr Nichol had made a real contribution to protecting native forests and protecting productive farmland from possums, and this award today recognises that valuable service.”

Mr Nichol has now sold his company to pursue other ventures.