Auckland Council’s planned pest control operation in the Hunua Ranges, surrounding reserve land and some private land, is close to getting underway.
From next week, the operational team will be closely watching the weather forecast to determine an optimal weather ‘window’ for the first stage of the operation.
Councillor Bill Cashmore says a great deal of planning has gone into the programme so far and is hopeful of good weather conditions in the coming weeks to ensure a successful operation.
“The effect rats and possums are having on the Hunua Ranges has been getting progressively worse over the last few years.
“If we are to protect the future of this treasured area, we need to act fast and with a well-thought out approach – 1080 is the best tool we have available to us right now to tackle this pest problem head on.
“In planning this operation, council staff have worked alongside experts from other organisations with an interest in the ranges and with experience using 1080.
“We have also worked with the iwi groups that have a strong connection to the Hunua area and Kohukohunui, and are heartened by their support and leadership on this project,” he says.
The operation is guided by the best practice use of 1080, set down by the government, and the conditions of permission granted to Auckland Council by the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS).
This is a well-planned and complex operation and people are urged to read the information on council’s website (www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/hunuaproject) to find out more about the operation, how it is being carried out, the safety measures in place and up-to-date status notices on park closures. You can also email the project team at HunuaProject@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or phone council on 09 301 0101 with any questions.
- 1080 is a deadly toxin – anyone visiting the ranges must observe warning signage and ensure that children do not touch or eat the toxic baits.
- Dogs are also at risk – if you must visit the ranges (where dogs are permitted), supervise your dog at all times and do not allow it to scavenge baits or carcasses. If you suspect your dog has been poisoned, induce vomiting and immediately go to a vet.
- The treatment area is around 21,500 hectares and includes Hunua Ranges, Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks; Mangatawhiri Forest Conservation Area and Vining Scenic Reserve (DOC); and some private land.
- The area has been divided into two blocks which will be treated as follows:
- Application of non-toxic pre-feed bait to block one
- Application of toxic bait (containing 1080) to block one and pre-feed of block two (7-10 days after the first flying day)
- Application of toxic bait to block two (7-10 days after the second flying day).
- The regional parks and the tracks on DOC land will be closed while bait is applied and until a rigorous track clearance programme has been completed.
- Helicopters will not fly over the public water reservoirs, setbacks are in place around the reservoirs and the supply from the reservoirs to the water treatment plant will be disconnected while each block is being treated. Reservoirs will not be returned to service until extensive monitoring has been carried out and the water has tested clear.
- Residents that take drinking water from the operational area or have concerns about their water supply are invited to source drinking water from Wharekawa Marae.