24 Oct 2016

Blitz on Lake Karapiro water weed

12:25 pm on 24 October 2016

The government has committed to tackling an invasive weed that is clogging up Lake Karapiro.

Hornwort

Hornwort affects natural ecosystems and can hinders water activities. Photo: NIWA / Rohan Wells

It will collaborate with regional councils, Land Information New Zealand, local iwi and Mercury Energy to combat the fast-spreading freshwater weed.

Minister for Land Information Louise Upston said hornwort can become tangled in boat motors, disrupt rowers and be a risk to swimmers.

Ms Upston said the groups would still use the herbicide diquat to treat the plant, as had been done for the last 40 years, but this was the first time there had been a long-term plan directed at the issue.

"It's been piecemeal and ad hoc as opposed to being planned out over a number of years with all of the different parties who have an interest in controlling the weed working together and coming up with a plan that everybody agrees to."

Ms Upston said keeping hornwort at bay would enable large scale events such as the World Rowing Championships to continue at Lake Karapiro.

World Rowing Championships, Lake Karapiro, 2016. Zoe Mcbride and Sophie McKenzie on day one of the event.

Zoe Mcbride and Sophie McKenzie on Lake Karapiro on the first day of this year's world rowing championships. Photo: Photosport

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