28 August 2018
Planning for the future of biosecurity in Southland is the focus of the proposed Biosecurity Strategy and proposal for a Southland Regional Pest Management Plan which are open for public submissions from today.
Environment Southland councillors agreed to publicly notify the proposals at a meeting on 15 August.
Director of operations Jonathan Streat said the documents outline how Environment Southland will oversee the management of biosecurity over the next 10 years.
“Following some informal consultation with the community in 2016, we’ve worked with interested groups and organisations and all of this feedback has been at the forefront of our thinking as we developed these proposals.”
The new proposal for a Southland Regional Pest Management Plan looks quite different to the previous Pest Management Strategy because it contains fewer specified pests and rules. This is largely because many harmful species do not need regional rules to manage them.
“Just because a harmful species isn’t specifically mentioned in the plan doesn’t mean we no longer have a role to play in managing it – our biosecurity team is able to offer information, advice and assistance on all types of harmful species.”
Jonathan says the plan includes 72 specific pests, along with good neighbour rules, and proposes two site-led programmes. The proposed site-led programmes, at Omaui and Stewart Island/Rakiura allow for rules specific to these areas to be introduced. At both of these locations, this will mean introducing rules that apply to domestic cats.
“These rules are designed to help manage the impacts of feral cats and support efforts already being undertaken at these locations to improve native biodiversity. They have been proposed by the local communities and we look forward to hearing what people think about them.”
New rules relating to wilding conifers are also included in the plan. Wilding conifers can have a major impact on native ecosystems and there has already been significant investment in control work. The new rules will help protect that investment and any future work.
Submissions are open until 5pm on 23 October. You can find out more at www.es.govt.nz/pestplan or give us a call on 0800 76 88 45 to get a copy of the proposals.