INDEPENDENT NEWS

Otago’s proposed Regional Pest Management Plan

Published: Wed 31 Oct 2018 07:00 PM
Consultation is now open for Otago’s proposed Regional Pest Management Plan and Biosecurity Strategy
The Otago Regional Council (ORC) is asking for submissions on the Proposed Regional Pest Management Plan and feedback on the proposed Biosecurity Strategy.
The proposed plan is the regulatory document that outlines both the ORC’s and land occupier’s roles and requirements in managing specified pests that can have an impact on Otago’s economy, communities and environment.
As the current plan expires in 2019, the ORC has drafted a proposed plan that will cover the next ten years.
ORC councillor Andrew Noone, who is the chair of the pest reference group that helped develop the proposed Regional Pest Management Plan and proposed Biosecurity Strategy, said it was a positive step for Otago.
“I’m pleased we signed off these documents today, and can now take them to the public for their views. The new plan will do a great job at protecting Otago from pest plants and animals that can have a negative impact on our environment and economy, as well as the people who live in and visit the region,” he said.
Five pest management programmes are incorporated in the proposed plan. These include programmes around exclusion (preventing the spread of pests), progressive containment (containing or reducing distribution of pests over time), eradication (reducing the infestation to zero), sustained control (providing ongoing control), and site-led programmes (controlling pests in a specific place to protect its values).
New additions to the animal pest list include feral cats, feral deer, feral goats, feral pigs, hedgehogs, mustelids, possums, and rats.
Some of the new additions to the plant pest list include Chilean flame creeper, banana passionfruit, moth plant, 11 species of wilding conifers, and wild Russell lupins.
ORC Director of Environmental Monitoring and Operations, Scott MacLean said, “We’ve developed the proposed Regional Pest Management Plan in tandem with our Biosecurity Strategy. The strategy outlines ways to proactively manage biosecurity issues in Otago, before they escalate.
“It also encourages a collaborative approach towards these initiatives to come from individuals and communities, all the way up to support from a national level,” he said.
Submissions on the proposed Regional Pest Management Plan and feedback on Biosecurity Strategy are open from now until 14 December 2018.
Submissions can be made online at https://yoursay.govt.nz/pestplan, at ORC’s Alexandra, Dunedin and Queenstown offices or public libraries throughout Otago.
Alternatively, you can call the ORC customer service team on 0800 474 082 to have a hardcopy form sent out to you.
ENDS

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