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New Approach To Eradicate Painted Apple Moth

April 3, 2002

New Approach Needed To Eradicate Painted Apple Moth

The Auckland Regional Council will recommend that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry changes its approach to eradicating the Painted Apple Moth.

The recommendation comes in response to a MAF request for feedback on four possible options for the treatment of the Australian moth which first made its incursion into New Zealand in 1999.

ARC Parks and Heritage Committee chairman Bill Burrill says the council¡¦s concerns relate to the treatment of the moth in the Auckland region in general and in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Parkland in particular.

The moth is known to feed on at least three native species which are prominent in the ranges and there are no limiting factors to its spread.

¡§Two of MAF¡¦s suggested options did not pursue eradication, while a third was a continuation of the programme they are currently undertaking in parts of West Auckland,¡¨ Cr Burrill says.

¡§That leaves the option of further ground spraying and use of aerial spraying across the entire area where male moths have been trapped.

¡§We believe this option, which is effectively blanket spraying of areas where the moth is known to be, will have the highest probability of eradicating the insect, but should be pursued with appropriate public safeguards in place.

The resolutions passed by the ARC Parks and Heritage Committee today included:

„h That Council recommends to MAF that Option 3 is the preferred option to protect New Zealand from the Painted Apple Moth, provided that the distribution of the moth has been conclusively identified.
„h That human health issues related to the spraying be fully investigated and liability for costs of medical treatment be met by MAF.
„h That the water catchment issue be resolved properly.
„h That the ARC advise MAF that all available precautions to protect human health and to minimise adverse effects on endangered native species must be implemented in any control operations.

Cr Burrill says if MAF is serious about eradicating the moth it needs to pursue a more intense spraying programme than it is currently.

¡§It is extremely important that in order to protect the Waitakere Ranges this pest is eradicated.

¡§What is equally important is that any eradication programme takes into account other issues such as effects on human health and on the water catchment in the Waitakeres,¡¨ he says.

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