A recent commissioner report on weed management called for better leadership on weed management across Aotearoa.
The report, called Space invaders: A review of how New Zealand manages weeds that threaten native ecosystems, said the priority needed to be given to weed management.
The report questioned whether enough was known about the threat “this silent vegetative army posed”.
The report said disconnected databases of valuable information, inaccessible information, and limited surveillance on the “weed battleground,” were major problems in weed management.
Biosecurity principal advisor Imogen Bassett presented to the June 14 Weed Management Political Advisory Group about the report and said while Auckland Council was leading on weed management in some instances, council did not get a “glossy report card” on every aspect of weed management.
Bassett said that there were inconsistencies between council policy documents.
Pest species were unable to be bought or sold but Aucklanders needed to get get a resource consent to cut down that same pest species, Bassett said.
The inconsistencies came from council having “different values at different times,” Bassett said.
Bassett said that the commissioner's report wanted to focus on a national policy direction.
“Regional councils around the country have recognised there is a real challenge in this area and have put more money into this. This is not the same for central government,” Bassett said.
“Weed control is much more challenging than small animal management under predator-free,” Bassett said.
Member Sandra Coney said council needed to have a better plan to manage pest plants, particularly in parklands.
Coney said the commissioner's report “dropped without ripples”.
There was an understanding from the public about the threat of predators but there needed to be more awareness about the impact of weeds on New Zealand ecosystems.
The full Space Invaders report can be found online at the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment website.