Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

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

 

Biosecurity NZ Works In Partnership With Local Mana Whenua And Northland Regional Council To Respond To Exotic Caulerpa

Biosecurity New Zealand, local mana whenua, and the Northland Regional Council are working together on next steps after divers searching the waters around Te Rāwhiti, the Bay of Islands, found a substantial amount of exotic Caulerpa seaweed, suggesting it’s likely been in the area for a number of seasons.

Biosecurity New Zealand and its partners have been responding to an earlier detection of what was believed to be exotic seaweed found washed up on a beach in the Omākiwi Cove area earlier in the month.

Biosecurity New Zealand’s deputy director-general Stuart Anderson says while the find of large areas of exotic Caulerpa is disappointing, it isn’t unexpected.

“Climate change, warmer temperatures and the ease of international movement will continue to present biosecurity challenges, but we’re committed to work through them with our partners, including local councils and mana whenua.

“We expect to have a controlled area notice (CAN) in place next week for a defined area around Omākiwi in the Bay of Islands, which will set restrictions and conditions. Local mana whenua may also put in place a Rāhui. The extent of the CAN will be further reviewed when delimiting surveillance in the area is completed by the end of next week, weather permitting.

“We have initiated a technical advisory group (TAG) to look at suction dredging which has had some recent success in controlling exotic Caulerpa in California and we’re also organising to send a small group of scientific experts and mana whenua to California to inspect attempts to remove exotic Caulerpa there.”

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Mr Anderson said dive work since the first clump of seaweed was identified in the Bay of Islands earlier this month had involved the Northland Regional Council and NIWA.

“Divers have been meticulously working through sites with suitable habitat and that are known anchorage points. The infestation found so far in Omākiwi Cove extends out into the Albert channel and varies in density from 90% coverage in sheltered areas to small sparse patches in the deeper waters, suggesting it’s been in the water for a number of seasons.

“I want to thank all those who attended a hui at Te Rāwhiti today. We had a good conversation and are committed to working together. I understand people’s concern, but international research and experience tells us that successfully eradicating Caulerpa is extremely challenging.”

Mr Anderson said since exotic Caulerpa was first found at Aotea Great Barrier Island in July 2021, and then, later, at Ahuahu Great Mercury Island, a lot of work has been done in partnership with regional councils and mana whenua to minimise spread.

“That work includes a controlled area notice (CAN) that remains in place on 3 affected harbours at Great Barrier Island and bans some activities; Mana whenua putting in place a rāhui; extensive surveillance; testing a treatment option by smothering Caulerpa patches with salt; seeking expert international scientific advice about our options; and running ambassador programmes and an awareness campaign to ensure boaties and the public know what to do.

“We’ve spent about $2 million to date and acknowledge Caulerpa is difficult. It’s a further reminder, especially as climate change creates more biosecurity challenges, that we all have a role to play.

“People need to keep their boats and other equipment used in the waters clean to reduce the risk of introducing or spreading any exotic seaweeds. We’ll continue to back the work of councils and mana whenua in Northland and Great Barrier.”

People can report suspected finds to Biosecurity New Zealand on 0800 809 966 or by completing the online reporting form at report.mpi.govt.nz.

Help stop the spread:

For more information please email: BiosecurityNZ_media@mpi.govt.nz

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On The Newshub/Smokefree Twin Fiascos


Here’s a tale of two sunset industries. One has a track record of quality investigative reporting, and sound reportage of the 24/7 news cycle. The other sunset industry peddles a deadly substance that kills and injures tens of thousands of New Zealanders every year, while imposing significant annual costs on the public health system.

Which industry is this government rushing to assist..?
More


 
 


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More


Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More


Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.