The Government’s decision to boost spending on weed and pest control on public land is welcome, if overdue.
The extra $5.3m promised sounds good but it’s over four years and I don’t know if that’s enough. Neighbours of Doc land (and we are) have long compalined about the poor level of weed and pest control and the complaints have got louder as tenure review has increased the amount of land under Doc control.
Figures released last year show Doc manages 6.5 million ha, or 42%, of the South Island land mass, and two million ha of the North Island, or 17%.
Overall, 31% of New Zealand is managed by Doc, an estate that was growing. Linz figures released last week reveal Doc had gained an extra 178,000ha of the South Island high country to manage as a result of tenure review of Crown pastoral lease land, or 48% of land that has gone through the process.
The argument over whether Doc would be better concentrating on current responsbilities rather than stretching shrinking resources – staff and capital – over more land is continuing.