The Crown will have to meet ‘good neighbour’ obligations in regional pest management strategies under a proposed pest management plan which has been released for public comment.
Biosecurity Minister David Carter said:
“This means all land owners in New Zealand will be bound to control pests, such as rabbits and wilding trees, so that they don’t ‘spill over’ and affect their neighbours,” says Mr Carter.
Weeds and pests don’t observe boundaries so property owners who do their bit and more are fighting a losing battle if their neighbours don’t do their bit too.
“Today’s announcement delivers on National’s promise to ensure that the Crown meets its obligations as a responsible landowner and to develop a unified approach to pest management for all land.”
The relationship between the Crown and farmers has always been a bit uneasy and it got worse in recent years when pastoral lease land was surrendered under tenure review. Weed and pest control budgets on public land weren’t sufficient to cope which put farming operations of neighbours at risk.
“The cost of established pests to our economy runs close to $1.9 billion a year – $1.15 billion of lost production and $719 million in directly preventing pests from arriving in New Zealand and managing them once they are here.
“The proposed Plan of Action looks at ways to ensure our pest management strategies limit this cost, and meet the needs of today and challenges of tomorrow,” says Mr Carter.
“This will help drive a new national policy direction which will further strengthen and align pest management plans as they are developed.”
Lower costs and more effective control will be a popular combination if they work.
The proposed plan is open for submissions.