Source: Auckland Council
Pest management is a vital tool in safeguarding the region’s biodiversity.
In the last decade both the Biosecurity Act and the pests that threaten the Auckland region have changed.
To reflect those changes, Auckland Council has reviewed its existing pest management strategy and in March 2019, adopted a new and improved Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP).
The new RPMP ensures Auckland has an effective legal framework for coordinating pest management across the region, ensuring the actions of the council and other agencies, private individuals and businesses all work together to achieve the best protection we can for our natural environment.
Implementation of the new plan has been delayed by Environment Court appeals and COVID-19. With these resolved, the plan will become operative this week, bringing long-awaited improvements to how we protect Auckland’s biodiversity.
The pest management plan is critical to the survival of the region’s native species, both plant and animal, which evolved in the absence of pests.
They’re now vulnerable to predation and competition from introduced species who, if not managed, will overwhelm and destroy many of our native species and the ecosystems they live in.
“Over the last ten years, new pests have emerged and this new plan sets objectives and rules to manage the over 400 pest plants, animals and pathogens we have in the region,” says Councillor Hills, Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee.
“Nature is at breaking point and we need to take bold action. Human activity has impacted heavily on nature and after years of degradation and loss, it’s important we step up and protect Auckland’s priority ecosystems and threatened species.
“We recognise the value of nature and our obligation to protect it and it’s exciting we can start to reverse years of underinvestment in pest control.”
The plan includes programmes such as managing pests on and around parks; kauri dieback; possums, pests spread to the Hauraki Gulf Islands; on-island control for Aotea/Great Barrier, Waiheke and Kawau Islands, freshwater biosecurity, and phasing out the sale of new pests from nursery and pet trade.
The one unresolved Environment Court appeal may see the addition of marine pests to the plan. Auckland Council has agreed in principle to the addition of marine pests but is currently waiting for an Environment Court hearing to formally resolve the issue.