Native broom sprayed after mistaken for noxious weed

About 180 Carmichaelia, or native broom, had been sprayed. Photo: Getty Images
About 180 Carmichaelia, or native broom, had been sprayed. Photo: Getty Images
Spraying of noxious plants around Lake Dunstan was put on hold recently because of ‘‘an unfortunate incident’’ involving New Zealand’s rare native broom.

In a report to the Central Otago District Council on gorse and broom control earlier this month, Boffa Miskell senior principal Marcus Girvan said about 180 Carmichaelia, or native broom, had been sprayed.

They were ‘‘misidentified’’ as ‘‘scotch’’ broom.

‘‘Immediate steps were taken to ensure this does not occur again, including producing plant identification material for all our contractors and a change to our contracting procedures,’’ the report said.

‘‘We are currently working with the Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust to develop a plan to replant these areas.’’

The report noted it would take two to three years to grow plants to a size viable for planting.

Boffa Miskell could not be reached for comment on Christmas Eve.

There are 24 species of Carmichaelia, all but one native to New Zealand.

They are considered to be not closely related to introduced scotch broom, classified as a noxious weed.

mark.price@odt.co.nz

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