We received 56 submissions from you via our online form and a handful of submissions via email and phone.
The GWRC Regional Pest Management Plan is a strategic document relating to the identification of long-term or overall aims and interests and the means of achieving them. A number of submissions related to operational aspects to achieve goals. A number of people made the same point (but framed it differently) in all of the questions, therefore the same points are noted in the three sections.
The following responses are to the questions outlined in our Discussion Document.
Question One: Is the GWRC current approach to pest management working well? What is working well and what areas could we improve?
The approach in general was seen as working well with mention on the success of trapping programmes, particularly regarding possum control, and the improvements in bush and birdlife. Other positive comments mentioned Wellington being the national leaders in biodiversity improvements, and going for a bigger picture approach.
In areas for improvement there was a strong voice for more engagement and consultation with community groups. This was in relation to setting up and funding of pest control programmes, hunting in the region, wasp control and feedback on results of pest control.
There were requests for more education and awareness of emerging pest threats and services that GWRC provides; help was needed in sourcing and funding traps (or free) and setting up pest control.
Cats were of topic in relation to funding of controlling feral cats, control of cats with microchips and neutering, and desire for GWRC to provide leadership on cat management.
There was a number of submissions to reduce the reliance on toxins (specifically the aerial application of 1080), and balance the needs of hunters with pest control.
Other points of feedback include working with organisations for stricter boundary control of pest plants, reintroduce bounties, ensure humanness of control, how much funding do we put to research toxin alternatives, and encouraging other councils to do more.
Question Two: Is the proposed approach of the Plan summarised in this document on the right track? Which aspects do you particularly agree or disagree with?
The proposed approach was ‘generally on the right track’, with this ‘right track’ including pest control and protecting native bush and waterways. The structure of the current Strategy outlining funding, objectives and means of objectives was mentioned. Feral cats being included as a site-led species, as was the inclusion of velvetleaf in the new Plan was noted as being supported by a number of people.
More coordination of efforts was the emergent theme; coordination with community groups and also between local councils and the Department of Conservation. More community consultation regarding Key Native Ecosystem (KNE) areas and local hunters is sought, as well as in development of the plan.
Other points raised were:
· promoting a universal online tool i.e. Nature Space
· banning aerial 1080
· provide more information on specific site-led pest management operations
· agreement on undertaking a Cost Benefit Analysis on Canada Geese, and request to implement a regional management programme
· request to add protection of native butterflies to the Plan
· continued biocontrol
· providing regional support and leadership for community groups
· reducing number of species in RPMP
· intensifying pest control
· to not omit exotic fish from the 'exclusion programme', and have perch in a site-led programme
· redefining deer and pigs as a legitimate resource
Question Three: How can GWRC support you or your community-led pest management activities and initiatives?
The loudest theme was that of a need for increased support for community pest control, with more advice /information/training to help set up groups, and actively engage groups so they collaborate with one another for a regionally coordinated approach. This sits alongside the question of, “How is GWRC going to be involved with Predator Free 2050?” Within the theme of ‘increased support of community pest control’ was a need for increased awareness of what pests are in the area and what people can do to help, and, to consider greater involvement of hunters. Provision of resources was another strong theme, including education to groups (including rural events), funding, and free or subsidised traps.
Other suggestions for how GWRC can support individuals or community groups mentioned:
· allowing hunting in East Harbour Regional Park
· support local councils to provide a unified front,
· ensure deer repellent is used in aerial 1080 operations and/or, stop aerial 1080
· reintroduce bounties on pest animals
· use less toxin and more traps
· include wasp traps on existing trap lines
· lead and operate a trap library
· run a website for monitoring pest animals
· hold a ‘weeds, wine and pest’ evening and have an education officer to help community groups
· make it easier to determine ‘what council does what’ and where their boundaries lie
Question Four: Do you have any further comments about pest management in the greater Wellington region?
The outstanding theme in the ‘further comments’ section was for GWRC to increase awareness of what we do. Suggestions to achieve this included:
· have a central web location
· more info about pest control operations (specifically 1080)
· get people to record kills
· increased collaboration and targeting of community groups for site-led programmes
· provide more information on new methods and innovations to community groups (also provide feedback loops of successes)
· more information on Predator Free 2050
· help with motivation and funding
Other points noted were:
· to increase resource into trapping rather than toxins
· ban aerial 1080
· pay more attention to cats and their management in ecologically sensitive areas, and create responsible cat management legislation
· outline how domestic pets can be considered in wider pest management
· site-specific control of Rosellas
· use prisoners to undertake pest control
· reintroduce skinks where they have become extant
· create community garden plots with examples of pest plants and natives
· more blackberry, gorse, wasp and Old Man’s Beard control
· take into consideration climate change
What do you think? Anything else to add?