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Pest management plan now full operational

Installation of trail cameras to track the growing wallaby problem in the region. Photos: BOPRC.

Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s new Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) 2020 - 2030 is now fully operational.

The RPMP sets the rules and framework for how pests like wallabies, woolly nightshade, and catfish are excluded, controlled and in some cases, eradicated. In total 93 pest species are included under the new RPMP.

Strategy and Policy Committee chair Paula Thompson says the RPMP is crucial in protecting vulnerable native ecosystems, livelihoods, and public values across the region.

“The RPMP gives us the tools and regulation we need to protect our native ecosystems and primary industries.

“Successful implementation of the plan in the long term will continue to rely on working collaboratively with tangata whenua, the community, landowners, industry, and Government agencies. Council will play an increasing leadership role through education and advocacy work.”

New rules introduced for selected pests will increase responsibility on individual landowners to prevent them from spreading to neighbouring properties.

The plan also includes provisions for the first time specifically designed to protect both marine and freshwater environments against pests.

“Regional Council has already been making great strides in the pest management space and having the RPMP fully operational will only add to that,” says Thompson.

A new software tool recently developed and implemented by council called GeoPest enables close tracking of pest management progress against operational targets that fall out of the broader RPMP.

In the six months since GeoPest was made live, field workers across the region have surveyed more than 2000 properties and recorded more than 3000 plant infestations all without setting foot in the office.

Recently announced as a finalist in the innovation category of the NZ Biosecurity Awards, GeoPest allows decisions and management plans to be based on both detailed and real-time data.

“I am confident that the new plan ensures the region will be more resilient in in tackling the many biosecurity challenges we will face in the future,” says Thompson.

Pests in the Bay of Plenty

To find out which pests are covered in the RPMP plan, the relevant rules and responsibilities that apply and recommended control techniques, the public can now access the regional council’s recently launched pest portal.

Pest portal can be found at https://www.boprc.govt.nz/environment/pests

The new GeoPest software allows for efficient collection of biosecurity data and strategic analysis of outputs.  

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