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


Maize field off limits after alligator weed find

Maize field off limits after alligator weed find

For immediate release: Thursday 24 November 2005 A Tauranga maize field is now officially off-limits to visitors after Environment Bay of Plenty staff found a potentially devastating noxious weed growing in it.

Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides), an aggressive aquatic plant that also grows on land, was discovered during a routine pest plant inspection of a property in Welcome Bay. The main area of infestation covered about 12 square metres, with scattered fragments elsewhere in the paddock.

Pest plant coordinator John Mather told the council’s operational services committee meeting today (Thursday) that staff immediately started work to destroy the weed. The site was also declared a restricted zone under the Biosecurity Act 1993, which gives Environment Bay of Plenty the legal right to control movement on and off the property. “Alligator weed can grow easily from a small stem or fragment and, because of this, is often spread within and between ploughed fields. It may well have been brought to the site on machinery.”

Mr Mather says that, if alligator weed established in the Bay of Plenty, it could seriously impact on farming activities and block waterways. “So we have to be very very careful.”

After the discovery, staff launched an investigation to trace the origin of the alligator weed. They interviewed contractors and former lessees of the block and inspected all cultivated maize locations in the Welcome Bay, Papamoa and Te Puke areas. However, they did not find any more sites, Mr Mather says. “We talked to all the contractors, and they’ve been very helpful and will be keeping a lookout for it in all the paddocks they have cropped in maize.”

A native of South America, alligator weed is easily recognised by its white, papery, clover-like flowers. Its leaves are shaped like teardrops and grow in tiers opposite each other along hollow stems. It is an aquatic perennial that forms dense floating mats on slow moving water bodies. It can hinder access to water bodies and increase the risk of flooding. As in this case, it may also establish as a terrestrial plant, invading pasture and cropping land. It can form a dense tangle of roots up to 1m deep.

Alligator weed is already widespread in Northland and has been discovered in Auckland and the Waikato. The Bay of Plenty hosts a handful of land-based sites, including one near Edgecumbe, all of which are under intensive long-term control programmes. Environment Bay of Plenty has already had one alligator weed scare this year, when clumps were discovered growing alongside a canal flowing into the Tarawera River near Edgecumbe.

Mr Mather says alligator weed is very difficult to control because of its extensive and deep root systems. “We will be monitoring and carrying out annual control work on this new site for many years to come,” he says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mayor of Auckland: Alert Level Change Welcome News

Mayor Phil Goff says the government’s decision to move Auckland to Level 2 from 6am on Sunday will be welcome news for all Aucklanders.
“Moving strongly and quickly to contain this outbreak has once again proved effective in stopping the spread of community transmission and I thank all the Aucklanders who have followed the rules of Level 3 over the past week,” he says... More>>


Earthquakes: Tsunami Activity – Cancelled

The National Advisory issued at 2:48pm following this morning's earthquakes near the KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION is cancelled.
The advice from GNS Science, based on ocean observations, is that the Beach and Marine threat has now passed for all areas... More>>

Joint Press Release: Dirty PR Exposed In Whale Oil Defamation Trial

Three public health advocates are relieved that their long-standing Whale Oil defamation trial against Cameron Slater, Carrick Graham, Katherine Rich and the Food and Grocery Council has finally concluded and they are pleased that the truth has come out... More>>


Government: Next Stage Of COVID-19 Support For Business And Workers

The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend... More>>


Government: Balanced Economic Approach Reflected In Crown Accounts

New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected.
The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU)... More>>

Covid-19: Auckland Back To Alert Level Three After One New Community Case Revealed

Auckland will move to alert level three for a week at 6am tomorrow morning after two new Covid-19 community cases announced this evening could not be directly linked to earlier cases, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The rest of the country will move to level two.... More>>

NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels