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Pest IconHelp to Protect our Patch

A new pest management plan for Otago

Pest plants and animals can damage our environment if they aren’t managed well. 

We want your ideas to help us shape how we will manage pests in Otago over the next ten years. 

Otago’s new pest plan will:

  • List the pest plants and animals that will have regulatory control around how they are managed
  • Bring Otago’s pest management in line with other regional councils around NZ, especially our neighbouring councils
  • Reflect the values of the Otago community.

Do you want to know more?

Regional councils can manage pests in their region under the Biosecurity Act 1993. Although pest management plans are a choice rather than a requirement, all regional councils have pest management plans. 

Otago’s pest management plan sets out how Otago Regional Council and the community will undertake pest management across Otago. It’s a regulatory document that contains pest control programmes, objectives, and rules, to manage pests that cause harm to the wellbeing of our people and environment. 

The current plan expires in 2019 and we need to write a new ten-year plan. New laws mean there are changes to how regional councils must manage pests. There have also been changes to how a pest management plan must be developed, as well as what needs to be in it. 

We will look at whether the nineteen pest plants and four pest animals in the current plan should be in the new plan, and if there are new ones that should be added, e.g. marine pests. 

There are now five different pest management programmes, so each pest plant and animal will be managed by either:

  • Exclusion (keeping the pest out of Otago)
  • Eradication (getting rid of the pest from Otago)
  • Progressive containment (contain or reduce the distribution of the pest over time)
  • Sustained control (ongoing control of the pest to reduce its impact and spread)
  • Site-led programmes (exclude, eradicate or control pests in a specific place to protect the values of that place) 

Some pests might also be managed by good neighbour rules. These rules manage the spread of a pest from a property if it causes unreasonable costs to neighbouring or nearby land, and apply to all land owners and occupiers, including the crown.  

Plants and animals are assessed against criteria set out by law, including how much harm they can cause, where they are (distribution) and their potential to spread. A cost benefit analysis is undertaken to make sure the benefits of managing the pest would outweigh the costs. 

Not all pests can be in the plan and we need to be smart about the pests we choose to manage so we can provide the biggest benefit to our region. Certain pest species may already be managed by a different agency, or might be better suited to a different management approach. 

The pest management plan is just one of the ways pests are managed in Otago, and it sets out the pests that have rules around how they are managed. ORC is involved in a number of other initiatives:

  • We contribute funds to national and international research into biocontrol
  • We work alongside government agencies for biosecurity responses and for national biosecurity projects
  • Supporting community projects
  • Education
  • Monitoring and surveillance

Where are we up to?

We have just completed community engagement to help shape what goes into the new pest plan. We asked stakeholders and communities for their views on:

  • Pest management issues in Otago
  • What does and doesn’t work well in the existing plan
  • What could go into the new pest plan
  • What other pest management activities could we be more involved in

Click below to read a summary of what we heard:

Help to Protect our Patch engagement summary

What will happen next?

We’ll take on board all the feedback we get to inform the development of Otago’s new pest plan. You’ll have another chance to let us know what you think when the plan is publicly notified for submissions, which will be around the middle of 2018. 

Do you want to keep updated?

Email pests@orc.govt.nz and tell us you want to receive updates as Otago’s new pest plan is developed.

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