11 Dec 2013

DOC and councils to work together

6:26 am on 11 December 2013

An accord the Department of Conservation has signed with three regional councils will take pest control projects they have already been working on to the next level.

The first Lower North Island Pest Management Accord has been agreed with the Wellington, Hawke's Bay and Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Councils. It is part of a wider programme involving the councils and the department, called Nature Central.

Programme manager Marc Slade says pest problems in the region include possums, and plants such as Old Man's Beard and wilding conifers.

He says the new agreement will allow the agencies to work together more strategically, and tackle pests and weeds in a more effective and cost-efficient way.

Wilding conifers, which do not respect boundaries, are the first target, Mr Slade says. All agencies in managing wilding conifers will look at how they can co-ordinate operations by such things as using the same contractors.

"Actually nip the spread of these things in the bud so you're not constantly trying to deal with new outbreaks," he says.

The accord is the first of its kind and is an example of greater collaboration with other agencies that the department is working towards.