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Published: 2001-11-15 00:00:00

Coromandel pests such as wild ginger and woolly nightshade – and some ‘new menaces’ - are the focus of Environment Waikato’s proposed Regional Pest Management Strategy.

Environment Waikato has proposed a new strategy to attack plant and animal pests in the Region.

The strategy outlines the way it will manage plant and animal pests over the next five years. There are 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.

In the Coromandel area some ‘new menaces’, such as moth plant, mignonette vine and climbing asparagus are proposed to be tackled. These plants can smother native species and replace them in disturbed or low canopy forest and open land. Moth plant is the highest ranking weed in the neighbouring Auckland region.

Mignonette vine is a threat to indigenous biodiversity and also competes with indigenous plants. It can also topple small trees with its growth and is a problem in urban reserves and gardens. Climbing asparagus smothers seedlings and shades out larger trees.

Woolly nightshade and wild ginger are well established and landowners are responsible for removing the plants.

Under the new proposed rules, Environment Waikato can enforce the removal of privet in both urban and rural areas if a neighbour makes a health related complaint. Privet is linked to triggering asthma in sufferers at certain times of the year. Its berries are poisonous and can make children and stock ill. It is also acknowledged as a serious ecological pest.

There are also changes proposed in the approach to cleaning up roadside verges. Transit New Zealand is responsible for all state highway verges from “fence to fence” and local roads have a mix of different responsibilities.

Written submissions must be in to the Council by Friday, November 23. Hearings will be held in March next year.

Copies of the Strategy are available from Environment Waikato’s offices in Hamilton, Paeroa and Taupo, public libraries and on the Council’s website, www.ew.govt.nz. People can also obtain a copy from Environment Waikato's Freephone 0800 800 401.