Landowners to get greater say over pest control
16 July 2008
Landowners to get greater say over pest control methods
Environment Waikato’s regional pest management committee has decided to recommend to full council a proposal that gives landowners greater influence over how pest control is carried out on their land.
Currently, if landowners want a more expensive control method than the one recommended by Environment Waikato then council staff have the discretion to require landowners to pay the extra costs involved.
Recommendations put to the committee yesterday sought to put in place a more formal process and give landowners an opportunity to appeal to the committee over paying extra costs.
“It’s a process of equity and transparency that we’re keen to see put in place,” said biosecurity and heritage group manager John Simmons.
The committee agreed to both the more formal process over requiring extra payment and to allowing landowners to appeal staff directives to the committee.
After an appeal to the committee, the council could then decide to either insist on the landowners paying extra costs, have the extra cost met by ratepayers, or abandon the proposed work.
The committee’s decision also affirmed current practice of having staff, in the first instance, seeking a mutually agreeable pest control approach with landowners that does not increase costs or reduce effectiveness.
Additionally, the committee agreed the whole issue of charging landowners for extra costs should be reviewed as part of the council’s Long-Term Council Community Plan process next year.
Yesterday’s committee decision needs to be ratified by the full council.
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What is Environment Waikato?
Environment Waikato is the regional council for the Waikato region.
The council’s area extends from the Bombay Hills in the north to Mt Ruapehu in the south, and from the mouth of the Waikato River to Mokau on the west coast, across to the Coromandel Peninsula on the east.
The region contains nationally important electricity generation facilities and an internationally significant dairy sector. It is also home to iconic natural features which are key tourist attractions.
Environment Waikato’s responsibilities
· sustainable management of natural and physical resources, including pest control.
· planning regional growth and transport, and providing bus services.
· civil defence, emergency response, navigation safety, dam safety, flood management, erosion control and road safety.