Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says DOC is on the brink of eradicating the invasive weed Spartina in the Marlborough Sounds and Golden Bay.
“Spartina, one of the Dirty Dozen weeds targeted in the War on Weeds 2017, clogs waterways. It’s a prime example of an introduced plant brought in to reclaim land for grazing that has run rampant and is badly affecting waterways,” Ms Barry says.
“It’s changed the natural flows of rivers and tidal channels and impacted shellfish, fish and wading birds.”
“Congratulations to the staff who’ve waged war on this this particular weed for more than 40 years – your tenacity and dedication has paid off. Recent surveys indicate it’s eradicated from the Wairoa River, Muddy Creek and Farewell Spit in Golden Bay, and from Queen Charlotte Sound.”
Spartina is well controlled in Canterbury, where the Department of Conservation, the Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury are close to wiping it out.
“We still have work to do to eradicate it from Southland, Motueka and Otago, but we are confident that given these successes we will get rid of it there as well,” Ms Barry says.
“We can all help protect our natural areas from these invaders by joining the War on Weeds, disposing of any weeds sensibly and by choosing their plants carefully.”
The DOC Community Fund will distribute more than $4 million in 2016-17 to organisations ranging from small community groups to national partnerships for the War on Weeds.
The fund was set up in 2014 to distribute $26 million over four years to inspire and enable these sorts of projects around New Zealand.
For more on the War on Weeds and the Dirty Dozen for 2017, visit www.doc.govt.nz.