Weedy workshop in Kaikōura well received

A weedy workshop recently held in the Hāpuku catchment in Kaikōura has helped teach locals new tactics for removing pest plants in their area.

The event, which the Kaikōura Water Zone Committee recommended funding be put towards, came to fruition in late May and brought together many like-minded people. It continues a series of work happening in the catchment, which has its own collective, established to support landowners wanting to protect and enhance water quality and biodiversity values in the area. 

The group gathered on the western side of the Hāpuku bridge, where they enjoyed a hot drink and were given some resources on the various target weeds in the area, including banana passionfruit, old man’s beard, german ivy and cathedral bells.

They then chatted about the best weed control approaches, before heading into the bush corridor for demonstrations which were run and supported by us and Department of Conservation staff. Following demonstrations and after participants had a go themselves at some weed control methods, they were then offered some resources to use on their own weed control projects.

The workshop was then concluded with a barbecue held at a nearby property. Participants then shared their gratitude with the organisers.

"It was a great event for learning how to tackle noxious vine pest plants in our area, it was a real eye-opener, and I gained some great skills to add to my toolkit to manage our block by the Hāpuku River. To be effective, you really need to get the poison to the roots and remove and stack any cut-offs, in a way that prevents regrowth. Much more involved than just cut and paste," landowner Heli Wade said.

Another local landowner, William Loppe, said he is very excited about the potential outcome.

"Landowners like me can feel overwhelmed looking at their backyard. We all know that the simple sum of our individual efforts is just not enough if not coordinated around good expertise and a strong methodology," he said.

Committee support

The zone committee is supporting the project using some of their Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) Action Plan Fund from 2021 to 2023. Committee chair Ted Howard said the project supports the committee’s priority of improving environmental outcomes. 

"This initiative takes an integrated approach to addressing issues and enhancing freshwater biodiversity, by offering support to those living in south Hāpuku on the coastal edge of the area. 

"There is plenty of interest from the Hāpuku community around weed control, wetland restoration, predator control, shorebird protection and freshwater quality. 

"One of the biggest issues for the area is the threat of climbing vines, smothering native vegetation associated with the Hapuku River mouth, the bush scarp, and wetlands. This initiative aims to tackle these threats as a collective, and the committee was keen to support this group of like-minded, active and keen people," he said.

Ted said they are proud to be supporting the project.

"Together we offer a funding incentive and contractor management to triple landowner contributions on weed control, with invasive vines and willows as the primary focus. Support is extending to planting advice for restoration, and predator trapping, which has already begun thanks to a generous landowner buying a pallet of DOC200 traps to share among neighbours — many of whom were already trapping," he said.

"This year’s weed control work started in January following conversations with landowners and now involves 10 properties, excluding the extra handful of keen landowners who have their weeds under control through regular mahi," Ted added.

Get in touch

If you have any questions or would like to discuss or get involved with any of this, you can call the project leads directly: