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Awards Recognise Regional Weedbusters

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Junior Weedbusters make their mark: Grasmere students tackle tradescantia threatening native bush.


09 January 2006
For immediate release

Awards Recognise Regional Weedbusters

Regional Weedbusters Awards 2006 have been launched nationwide to reward New Zealanders for their efforts in the battle against environmental weeds.

National Coordinator Carolyn Lewis says an inaugural Weedbusters award scheme successfully held in Auckland last year is the template for the 2006 awards being held throughout the country.

“Weedbusting is often part of a bigger restoration project being undertaken in areas such as bushland or sand dunes, and it is often viewed as the least glamorous part of the work,” Ms Lewis says.

“It is easy to get volunteers along to tree plantings, but it’s a different story trying to raise interest in weeding bees,” Ms Lewis says.

“The new Weedbusters awards will recognise the efforts of those who get stuck in and deal with what are often the key weedy species preventing the success of restoration work.”

Weedbusting efforts around New Zealand over the last two years have ranged from groups tackling specific species, such as Chilean flamecreeper and banana passionfruit, that threaten local reserves, to adopting a small area of bush and removing all weed species in that area. Others have worked on their own properties and encouraged landowners around them to join in the weedbusting efforts.

Ms Lewis says weedbusters are usually volunteers, from school children to retirees.

“Businesses also have become involved, encouraging staff to help out,” she says.

As well, local councils in some areas have been very supportive with free disposal of the weed waste from weeding bees.

“Many regional council and Department of Conservation staff have also given up their weekends to lend a helping hand,” Ms Lewis says.

“It is a huge cooperative effort that is a credit to everyone involved. Weedbusters hopes that these new Awards will encourage more people to get involved in this very tangible way of making a difference in our environment.”

There will be five categories for the Weedbusters awards, all recognising weedbuster efforts:

- Public land,

- Private land

- Industry/organisation,

- Education

- Excellence

Full award details and nomination forms are online at www.weedbusters.org.nz. Nominations can be submitted to info@weedbusters.org.nz before 31 March 2006.

Weedbusters is an interagency programme supported by the Department of Conservation, Biosecurity New Zealand, Federated Farmers, Biodiversity New Zealand, NZ Landcare Trust, Nursery and Garden Industry Association, NZ Biosecurity Institute, NZ Plant Protection Society, and all unitary and regional councils in New Zealand.

More information about Weedbusters is available on www.weedbusters.org.nz


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