Pest proofing your land for a sustainable community
Pests are unwanted plants (invasive weeds) and animals that significantly impact our environment, economy and people. By managing pests we aim to protect natural land and water assets that contribute towards the quality of life, cultural identity, and the economic and natural ecosystems we enjoy in the Bay of Plenty. Hard decisions are often required about where limited resources should go, what actions might be effective and which pests represent the most risk.
Help is at hand
This toolkit is for anyone who owns a farm, orchard or land surrounding Tauranga Harbour. We hope you will find the information useful for looking after the natural habitat on your land. Please contact a Tauranga Land Management Officer for free advice.
Bay of Plenty Regional Pest Management Plan
The Regional Pest Management Plan is produced by the Regional Council under the Biosecurity Act 1993.
It provides the status and priority of each identified pest in the Bay of Plenty, who is going to manage it, what type of surveillance is required and
how the Regional Council intends to promote good pest management. View or download the Regional Pest Management Plan.
Advice and limited support is provided for within the plan for dealing with pest animals and pest plants that have been in the country for some time and occur on private land.
The Plan sorts pests into the following categories:
- Agency pests have high impacts which are the responsibility of the Ministry of Primary Industries.
- Exclusion/Eradication pests have high impacts regionally but are only found in small numbers. The Regional Council manages these pests.
- Containment pests have high impacts but are more widespread. Landowners are responsible for managing these pests on their land.
- Restricted pests have lower impacts and/or are widely distributed. Landowners and the community are encouraged to manage these pests.
Pest animal control
Pest animals such as rats, mice, hedgehogs, stoats, weasels, ferrets, feral cats and possums have a huge impact on native birds, skinks, geckos and larger insects, by eating them, their young and their eggs. Controlling rats and possums is relatively easy and is likely to have the most beneficial effect on the natural habitat.
Feral goats, wallabies, possums, rats, rabbits and deer cause considerable damage to native bush, crops or grasslands by eating foliage, fruits and seeds.
Not all of these animals are found everywhere and they require different methods of control.
Make use of these
Plan for these
- Annual pest control.
- Have the right training and qualifications, if required.
- Use the correct management technique in the right place.
- Undertake pest control at the right time to gain maximum benefit.
- Incorrect handling and storage of poisons.
- Placement of baits in unapproved stations.
- Access to baits and traps by children, pets and domestic stock.
Pest plant control
There are many pest plants (invasive weeds) which can damage native biodiversity by competing with or smothering native vegetation. Many of these weeds were once garden plants that have 'jumped the fence' and find the Bay of Plenty soils and climate much to their liking.
Agricultural weeds may cause losses in crop and pasture yields by competing for limited resources, releasing planttoxic chemicals or by acting as hosts to plant pathogens, viruses and insect pests. Regular inspection of the farm for any new weed species and their immediate removal by hand or spot treatment with herbicide will reduce the likelihood of a field invasion.
A good weed management system will often combine mechanical, chemical, and biological tactics to deal with a weed problem long term. Biological control uses one living organism (usually insects or fungi) to control another.
Make use of these
Plan for these
- Effective control of weeds is likely to require several treatments over time.
- Controlling weeds at the right time of year and before they set more seed.
- Use of the right method (or herbicide) for the right plant.
- Make sure your identification of the target plant is correct.
- Ensure machinery or equipment is clean of weeds if moving between properties to avoid pest-spread.
- Unsafe/incorrect use of herbicides.
- Off-target damage.
- Dumping garden rubbish in natural areas.
- Growing or cultivating banned plants that may spread.
Weed control in retirement areas
Once an area has been retired from grazing the first noticeable difference is normally a few weeds. Prior to any native planting being undertaken a comprehensive weed control programme is suggested. Some weeds are worse than others but as a rule of thumb, any vines or smothering weeds should be dealt with first.
The range of herbicides on the market is vast - if you have identified your weed correctly you can then choose the best chemical ingredient to kill it. It's a good idea to
research what active ingredient is required to control a particular weed and then find the branded product that provides the best value. A Land Management Officer can help you with this.
Careful weed control for two or three years after planting will provide the best start for young native seedlings. Using a cone over your sprayer nozzle will protect native plantings from spray drift.
Make use of these
- Advice from a Land Management Officer on weed identification and effective control methods.
- Regional Council Land Management fact sheets.
- Choose native colonising species to speed up canopy closure and starve weeds of light.
- Plant timber tree species for financial return.
Plan for these
- Comprehensive weed control prior to establishing desirable plant species. This may require weed control over one or two seasons.
- Find out which plants are threats to your new plants and concentrate on those. You don't have to kill everything.
- When choosing native plants for a site, observe what is already growing in the area and use those species.
- Try to locally eco-source your plants to ensure you are not introducing plants that are not part of the local ecosystem.
- Don't blanket spray (spot spray instead). The more bare ground you have the better the opportunity for weeds to re-infest the site.
- Planting tall canopy native tree species too soon. These tree species prefer to grow up through established cover and often struggle planted in isolation.
- Planting woodlots in areas that have poor access for machinery.