Greater Wellington Regional Pest Management Plan 2019-2039
We were happy to set aside resources for a transparent consultation process, which started three years ago and included an independent hearing panel. The public spoke and we listened; two examples include adding feral deer and wilding conifers back into the Plan as pests. In the case of wilding conifers they aren’t a big issue in our region yet, but we are putting in protection in line with the national approach, and in case they become one.
Wainuiomata/Orongorongo Key Native Ecosystem site – protected by our biosecurity teams for the last 15 years
Almost 200,000ha of our region is now under long-term pest animal control, and the gains we have made to native biodiversity, and social and economic wellbeing in the region, are something we’re very proud of. We will continue the legacy of the previous Strategy, with our new Plan.
Exclusion: to stop them getting into, or moving into, new parts of the region.
Eradication: to remove them over time.
Progressive containment: to reduce their number and spread over time.
Sustained control programme: to reduce their impact.
Site-led programme: to exclude or eradicate them to protect particularly valuable places.
Man-made wetland at Queen Elizabeth Park
We have less than 3 per cent of the original wetlands left in our region, with the rest drained for other land uses. We need to protect those we have left by removing invasive pest plants. In particular, this applies to eelgrass, purple loosestrife, Senegal tea and spartina.
The term pest cat in the Plan covers feral cats, and those stray cats that live independently from people, in other words cats that are not companion (pet) cats. We see the need to address more than just feral cats in the Key Native Ecosystem sites that we look after, so have included ‘pest cat’ to broaden the definition, and begin a discussion around the impact of unowned cats on our unique environment.
We are moving away from controlling pest plants that cross individual boundaries onto properties for some widespread pests like old man’s beard and blackberry.
This is so that we can further prioritise our regional native biodiversity and on a larger scale, by being cost-effective. We recognise these widespread pests are an issue so offer new advice for controlling them yourself.
The Predator Free Wellington staff supported by Greater Wellington Regional Council
Through landscape scale projects like Predator Free Wellington and our Regional Possum Predator Control Programme (RPPCP), we have the chance to work together to remove pests from large areas of our region.
Wainuiomata mainland island, East Harbour mainland island, and Pukaha Mount Bruce are buffer zones of concentrated pest control that are working really well protecting threatened species and ecosystems. The moving of titipounamu (rifleman) from one of these to Zealandia in 2019 - our cover story - demonstrates their success. We’re pleased to continue these programmes.
The Plan provides regional direction. It doesn’t set out day-to- day operational planning; this will become available to the public in September each year and the report on activities in the previous year becomes available in November each year.
The success of our programmes in the past and in the future is down to the support of communities, volunteers, and other organisations working in pest management. We share the vision set out nationally by the Biosecurity 2025 initiative Ko Tātou This Is Us.