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Protecting your patch from pest plants and animals

News release

9 April 2008

Protecting your patch from pest plants and animals in our region should take a look at Greater Wellington's Proposed Regional Pest Management Strategy, which is currently out for consultation.

"It's a reality that our region is constantly under threat from pest species – they have the capability to devastate livelihoods and local economies," says Cr Ian Buchanan, Chair of Greater Wellington's Catchment Management Committee.

"I hope that land-owning individuals and groups, as well as organisations such as farming representative groups, recreational and conservation groups, and local and central government, will take this opportunity to influence pest management."

Greater Wellington is responsible for working in partnership with the community to control pest plants and animals in the region. The strategy, developed in 1996, must be reviewed every five years to determine if Greater Wellington is on track to reach the strategy's objectives and whether changes are needed.

The current review of the strategy began in 2006 when Greater Wellington consulted with the community on changes to the strategy – these are all contained within the proposed strategy. The main changes are:

•A new surveillance category to obtain information on species that Greater Wellington believes could become major environmental, economic and health threats in our region if they establish.

•The removal of some pests from the eradication to containment categories, such as sweet pea shrub. Some species are more widespread than was thought when the strategy was last reviewed.

•Two new categories: 'human health', in recognition of increasing numbers of complaints from the public regarding specific pest plants and animals; and 'biodiversity', for protecting areas that aren't a designated Key Native Ecosystem (KNE) but have strong biodiversity values.

The consultation period closes on 28 April 2008. It is expected that submissions on the proposed document will be heard in May/June 2008. Copies of the document are available on our website www.gw.govt.nz/rpms

ENDS


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