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Plant PestsTipu Orotā

We provide information on the many plant pests that cause serious harm to the environment or economic loss to agriculture in Hawke's Bay.

What is the problem?

A large number of introduced plant species have naturalised in Hawke's Bay, to the extent that we have more introduced plants growing wild than our native species.

Many of these are considered weeds, but some cause serious harm to the environment or economic loss to agriculture. These serious weeds are called 'plant pests' and Hawke's Bay Regional Council has management plans in place, developed with community input, to meet the requirements of the Biosecurity Act 1993.

The Strategy's objectives are to:

  • reduce the density and extent of plant pests,
  • increase awareness of the public of the need to recognise and control these pests, and
  • ensure that plant pests listed in the strategy are not imported into the region, sold or distributed.

Chilean Needlegrass is one of the most serious plant pests in Hawke’s Bay and the Regional Council is involved in a nationwide campaign to limit the spread.

What’s a weed?

A weed may be described by gardeners as “a plant in the wrong place” but many weeds can have serious impacts on native bush, animals, pasture and people’s lifestyles.

A good reference for identifying weeds is the Weedbusters website.

Different pests warrant different levels of control, so they are grouped into 3 categories:

 All plant pests are banned from sale, propogation or distribution under the Biosecurity Act 1993.

What the Regional Council can do to help

Biosecurity Plant Pest Officers from the Hawke's Bay Regional Council can help identify invasive, unusual or unwanted pests on your property.

Officers can also advise on the best methods of control of plant pests and can help formulate management plans. This might involve the use of biological controls, chemical spray control, or non-chemical controls such as stock management, pasture management and mechanical methods of pest removal.

What you can do to help

​Control all plant pests on your property

Destroy any plants shown in this web site that are on your property, and as they appear in future.

Dispose of plant pests safely

The best way to dispose of unwanted plant pests is to burn, compost, or dispose of them at an approved landfill or transfer station for deep burial. Root fragments, cuttings and seed heads can rapidly establish new plant pest infestations if they are dumped in areas such as native bush, stream banks, and along roadsides. They are also dispersed by birds, animals, wind and water and in the right conditions grow quickly, smothering native vegetation.

Prevent the spread of new plants

From time to time plants come into the region which quickly establish and can become plant pests.

If you find plants which are rapidly spreading out of control, report them to your Regional Council Biosecurity Plant Pest Officers so they can be identified. Make sure plants are prevented from spreading by destroying them before they form hard seeds.

What you can do to help

​We rely on Hawke's Bay residents to be our eyes and ears looking out and reporting unusual organisms so we can respond immediately. Whether you are a landowner, lifestyle property owner or urban resident, there are plant pests that will require dealing with at some time or another.

Find out more about specific plant pests in our information sheets.

If you would like help with a pest control problem, or wish to report anything you think our Pest Control team should know about you can do so on our Fix It page.



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