Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


New regional pest management plan now operative

MEDIA RELEASE

28 August 2014

New regional pest management plan now operative

Waikato Regional Council’s new regional pest management plan has today been put into operation on the casting vote of the chairperson Paula Southgate.

Cr Southgate said after the council meeting the decision would not rule out councillors challenging parts of the plan they were concerned about in future where appropriate.

The tight vote followed concerns from some councillors about the wording of the plan and their understanding of it.

Cr Kathy White was concerned about wording that suggested a potential increase in the use of toxins to control pests and other matters. Cr Clyde Graf moved the plan lie on the table pending further discussion, even though others noted the plan had been developed under a proper and expensive process and couldn’t be changed without starting the process over again.

The vote on Cr Graf’s motion to let the plan lie on the table was split 6-6. The motion was then defeated by Cr Southgate’s casting vote.

Subsequently, the vote on making the plan operative was passed on the chair’s casting vote.

Those voting against making it operative were councillors Graf, White, Stark, Bramley, Hennebry and Husband. Those voting for include councillors Southgate, Buckley, Simcock, Kneebone, Alan Livingston and Vercoe.

Cr Southgate said convention dictated that the casting vote should be cast with the “status quo”, in this case the motion on the agenda.

Following the main vote, in recognition of the concerns raised, the council passed a motion from Cr Timoti Bramley, noting the council’s power to review part or all of the plan. The motion also noted the opportunity to review it in the reasonably near future when the council considered whether the plan was aligned to a new national policy direction.

“I feel the outcome is a sensible balance between recognizing the long and expensive process we’ve been through, whilst also acknowledging that councillors still have ways to change parts of the plan they remained concerned about,” Cr Southgate said afterwards.

“Councillors will also have a chance to give their views on the operational plan that will be developed to give effect to the RPMP.”

The plan itself will usher in new rules to keep on top of the spread of Canada goose, red-eared slider turtles and the damaging pest plant tutsan. It sets out why and how more than 150 pests will be controlled in the Waikato region over the next 10 years.

Pest control is one of the council’s largest expenditure areas. The work directly benefits many ratepayers, as effective management of pests preserves native species and protects tourism, agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture.

“The changes to the plan on Canada goose, turtles and tutsan reflect their growth as an actual or potential pest,” said Cr Southgate.

“But much of the plan is the same as previous years because the underlying pest issues have not changed and still need to be managed.”

Canada geese

Numbers are on the rise in the Waikato, with the birds fouling pasture and waterways, and eating newly-sown crops. Research shows that five of these geese can consume the same amount of grass as one sheep. Geese are also becoming more common in harbours and lakes but their overall ecological impact is unclear.

Due to the rise in numbers, the Canada goose has been identified in the plan as an environmental and production threat. And, while not declared a pest, the plan does allow the council to work collaboratively with landowners, hunters and other agencies to control them in certain circumstances.

“The regional council’s biosecurity team has the knowledge and skills to help landowners experiencing high numbers of Canada goose to manage them effectively,” said Ms Southgate.

Wild turtles

Wild red-eared slider turtles are now classed as a pest in the Waikato. The new rule for this popular children’s pet has been introduced because it poses a threat to New Zealand’s native freshwater life.

The new rule doesn’t prevent people from owning a turtle but it does give the council the ability to control red-eared slider turtles in the wild.

It is now also an offence for people to release a red-eared slider turtle into the wild but the real purpose of the new rule is to make people aware that these pets can easily turn into pests.

“If released into the wild, these turtles will eat native species such as eels and fish, as well as introduced trout, so we want to ensure that they don’t become established in our waterways” said Ms Southgate.

Tutsan

The highly invasive tutsan is now classified as a “total control” pest plant. That means landowners must destroy all tutsan on their properties and failure to do so could result in the regional council taking enforcement action.

Landowners who think they might have infestations of tutsan can talk to the council’s pest plant officers for advice on control methods.

Any inquiries about pests should be directed to freephone number 0800 BIOSEC.

The new plan will be available from next week at www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/rpmp


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Post Cab Presser: Inquiries And Consciences

    This afternoon the Prime Minister John Key announced that his cabinet had drafted terms of reference for the Havelock North water contamination inquiry... In response to questions on the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, the Prime Minister said he didn't think allowing National MPs a conscience vote was warranted. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news