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Source: Auckland Council

Waiheke is a network of reserves and treasured greenspaces, but the threat from invasive plant species is constant and the community is being called on to help.

Almost annually the Auckland Council Environmental Services team, supported by Waiheke Local Board, hold a Waiheke Weed Amnesty for pest plants.

“In an effort to control as many invasive pest plants as we can, we provide an opportunity for residents and landowners to bring in identified pest plants for free disposal,” explains Deryn Dromgoole, Senior Conservation Advisor for the island.

“We receive a lot of support from the community in the form of tons of pest plant matter for removal. But it is difficult to measure the effectiveness that is having on protecting the environment here on Waiheke. Instead, we consider the possible spread which the work has reduced. For example, moth plant pods hold hundreds of seeds and potential adult plants, so when we receive thousands of these pods, we can consider the reduction in spread to be significant. 

Whilst control of these plants early in the flowering season is preferable (as it prevents pods from forming) the Weed Amnesty in April provides a last-ditch option for when plants are missed.

Cath Handley is chairperson of Waiheke Local Board, which funds the initiative, and she encourages the whole community to get behind the Waiheke Weed Amnesty.

“This Amnesty saves residents money and makes a big dent in controlling future spread of pest plants. This means that our local environment teams can focus on supporting native and biodiverse plants, rather than controlling and managing invasive pest species,” she says.

While a number of plants species are considered for inclusion in the Weed Amnesty, some can be managed easily at home and in situ, therefore the focus remains on those that are not as easily managed, perhaps they are too voluminous or non-compostable.

The pest plants included in this Waiheke Weed Amnesty are: agapanthus, agave, bamboo, climbing asparagus, gorse, ginger, moth plant, old man’s beard, Japanese honeysuckle, tradescantia, pampas, yucca, both phoenix and fan palm.

Please note that all non-pest plants, soil, stones, rocks and anything longer than 1 meter will not be accepted, and loads must not exceed 200kgs.

Waiheke Weed Amnesty 2022 runs from Saturday 23 April until Sunday 8 May at the Waiheke Community Resource Recovery Park, 108-110 Ostend Road, Waiheke.

Find out more about pest plants at

For more information contact