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Source: Auckland Council

The first phase of the latest pest control operation in the Hunua Ranges parkland, neighbouring Department of Conservation (DOC) administered land and some private land, has started.

Aerial application of the non-toxic pre-feed bait began this morning across the whole 21,500-hectare operational area.

The pre-feed phase of the operation familiarises pest animals with the cereal baits, ahead of the baits containing 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) being applied in the following weeks.  

A satellite navigation system (GPS) and custom-designed bait applicators will be used to distribute bait aerially across the operational area.

The Hunua Ranges, Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks and tracks within the neighbouring DOC reserves are closed while the pre-feed application is carried out and will reopen once it has been completed in a couple of days. When the toxic bait is applied, the parkland will remain closed to enable a track clearance programme to be completed.

The operation is being delivered by Auckland Council in partnership with DOC and is guided by the best practice use of 1080 set down by the government, and the conditions of permission granted to council by the Ministry of Health and Auckland Regional Public Health Service.

For more information, including park closure details, see or phone 09 301 0101.

Important information

  • Prefeed is a non-toxic cereal bait, used to interest pest animals in the bait smell and taste to ensure they will be interested in and consume the toxic form of bait when it is applied.
  • 1080 is a deadly toxin – anyone visiting the ranges must observe warning signage and ensure children do not touch or eat the toxic baits.
  • Dogs are also at risk – if you must visit the ranges (where dogs are permitted), always supervise your dog and do not allow it to scavenge baits or carcasses. If you suspect your dog has been poisoned, induce vomiting and immediately go to a vet.
  • The treatment area is around 21,5000 hectares and includes Hunua Ranges, Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks; the Department of Conservation (DOC) administered Mataitai Forest Conservation Area, Papa Turoa Scenic Reserve, Whakatiri Scenic Reserve, Plows Road Conservation Area, Paparimu Conservation Area, Mangatawhiri Forest Conservation Area, Vining Scenic Reserve and Richard Sylvan Memorial Reserve and some adjoining private land.
  • The area has been divided into two blocks which will be treated as follows:
  1. application of non-toxic pre-feed bait to the whole operational area
  2. application of toxic bait (containing 1080) to block one (7-10 days after the pre-feed)
  3. application of toxic bait to block two (there will be at least two days between the treatment of blocks one and two).
  • The regional parks and the tracks on DOC land will be closed while bait is applied and until a rigorous track clearance programme has been completed.
  • Helicopters will not fly over the public water reservoirs; setbacks are in place around the reservoirs and the supply from the reservoirs to the water treatment plant will be disconnected while each block is being treated. Reservoirs will not be returned to service until extensive monitoring has been carried out and the water has tested clear.