New pest plan takes effect

The new Canterbury Regional Pest Management Plan commenced on 1 July 2018.

Regional Pest Management Plan 2018-20238Environment Canterbury Councillor Tom Lambie said pest management and biosecurity are important areas of the work regional councils do.

“Environment Canterbury has recognised this by positioning biosecurity alongside water management and biodiversity as a priority for our attention,” Mr Lambie said.

“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.”

Comprehensive review

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.

“The previous plan focused mainly on managing legacy pests that affect production land, such as broom, gorse, rabbits, wallaby 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 to 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.”

New focus

The new direction places more responsibility on individual landowners to manage pests on their properties themselves, with Environment Canterbury’s efforts focusing more on preventing pest spread to neighbouring properties. The regional council will have a leadership role, with extra emphasis on advice, education and working with the community.

“There is more focus on pests that impact our regional biodiversity and acknowledgement that much of the pest control done throughout the region benefits biodiversity,” Mr Lambie said. “The inclusion of site-led programmes gives us a new way of working, with the ability to target pest management to areas of biodiversity value.”

Realistic objectives

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.

“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 rūnanga, industry and other agencies. Effective communication will be key to success in all areas.

“I am confident that the new plan will stand the test of time and help us meet the many pest management challenges we have ahead of us,” Mr Lambie concluded.

For the Canterbury Regional Pest Management Plan 2018-38 and supporting information, go to www.ecan.govt.nz/pests. Find more information on pest management here.