Regional council’s pest plan in operation

Tom Lambie
Tom Lambie
Environment Canterbury’s new Canterbury Regional Pest Management Plan came into effect yesterday,  the organisation has confirmed.

A comprehensive review of the previous pest management plan was undertaken to make sure the right rules were in place to manage existing and emerging pest threats, and to prevent damage to biodiversity and production.

Environment Canterbury councillor Tom Lambie said pest management and biosecurity were important areas of the work regional councils did.

"Environment Canterbury has recognised this by positioning biosecurity alongside water management and biodiversity as priority for our attention.

"It is testament to the hard work of many people, and consideration by many members of the community, that we now have a plan that is fit to meet our current and future pest management challenges."

The new direction placed more responsibility on individual landowners to manage pests on their properties themselves and  Environment Canterbury’s efforts were focused more on preventing pest spread to neighbouring properties.

Regional councils will have a leadership role, with extra emphasis on advice, education and working with the community.

"The previous plan focused mainly on managing legacy pests that affect production land, such as broom, gorse, rabbits, wallabies and nassella tussock, Mr Lambie said.

"The emphasis in the new plan is therefore on maintaining efforts to prevent existing pests from proliferating, while also increasing the focus on stopping new pests entering the region and becoming established.

"This approach will help us become more resilient, with pests managed for both production land and biodiversity protection purposes.  The review also made sure our plan is aligned with neighbouring regions’ to help prevent new pests arriving here."

The new plan delivers realistic objectives that can be achieved over time with improved ways of working, more flexibility from an improved funding rationale, and better consistency both regionally and nationally, Mr Lambie said.

"In playing its part, Environment Canterbury will deploy its resources more efficiently and effectively, improve the way we work with landowners and the community, and seek opportunities for more partnerships with papatipu runanga, industry and other agencies. Effective communication will be key to success in all areas."  

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