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Marlborough: Committee adopts pest plan recommendations

Press Release – Marlborough District Council

The Environment Committee adopted the recommendations of the Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) hearings panel to make a new RPMP for Marlborough yesterday. The recommendations go to the full Council for adoption at their 9 August meeting.Committee adopts pest plan recommendations

The Environment Committee adopted the recommendations of the Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) hearings panel to make a new RPMP for Marlborough yesterday. The recommendations go to the full Council for adoption at their 9 August meeting.

Thirty three people made written submissions and 20 of those presented directly to the panel during hearings held in April.

Councillor Cynthia Brooks, who chaired the panel along with Councillor Nadine Taylor and Environment Committee rural representative Ross Beech, thanked everyone who submitted to the process.

“This has been a lot of hard work by many people and it’s been a good process. We were not able to please everyone but feel we have now got a robust, up-to-date pest management plan for Marlborough.”

Two key threats the new plan addresses are Chilean needle grass and Mediterranean fanworm.

“The new programme for Mediterranean fanworm is the first time this Council has addressed a marine pest threat in a pest management plan; it is here in relatively low numbers so the programme aims to get ahead of it now under an exclusion programme,” Cr. Brooks says.

“Mediterranean fanworm could pose a real threat to aquaculture if it became established in the Marlborough Sounds.”

The panel also recommended a separate project be undertaken over the next 12 months to develop a new programme for wilding conifers in consultation with stakeholders.

“Submitters raised concerns about well-established pests such as possums, stoats, old man’s beard and feral cats. This is a different challenge to new threats and we have recommended that control of these pests is addressed through a new biodiversity strategy.”

If adopted by Council, the new RPMP will be notified to the public and be available at www.marlborough.govt.nz

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