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Community input important in new pest mngt strat.

Community input important in new pest management strategy
6 December 2002

With the recent adoption of the Auckland Regional Pest Management Strategy, the ARC says community participation is vital to achieving regional pest management goals.

The Strategy, which was finalised in October forms the regional framework for the ARC's management of pests.

The Strategy covers a number of new animal and plants pests, a wider focus for animal pest control, a new Hunua Weed Control Zone, a Research Organism category to identify possible future pests and greater emphasis on community ownership of pest issues.

"ARC wants to assist communities to reach their goals in regard to pest control," says Parks and Heritage Committee Chair, Bill Burrill. "The local knowledge and enthusiasm of communities are important resources and are fundamental to achieving long-term goals for pest management.

While regulation may sometimes be required to ensure the community objectives are being met, it is only a backstop."

Specific focus on community ownership of pest issues in the Strategy, is acknowledged through the new 'Community Initiatives Programme' category which Cr. Burrill says " will support existing efforts, and encourage people to form local groups that can tackle local animal and plant pest issues."

The Strategy also places priority on the control of low incidence pests, such as Cathedral bells, Devil's tail, African feather grass and Scrambling lily, to maximise the chances of eradication.

"We don't want these pest plants to become the woolly nightshades of the future, so we are putting energy into locating and controlling them now," says Cr. Burrill.

Cr. Burrill adds that the ARC will provide educational and regulatory support to help communities to achieve their goals. "I would encourage interest groups and concerned individuals to contact us and find out how they can be more active in their own community." Copies of the Auckland Regional Pest Management Strategy can be purchased at $20 through ARC's Enviroline 3662070, or 0800 80 60 40 (if outside the Auckland free-calling area).


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