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Yellow water lily eradicated in Hawke's Bay

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Hawke's Bay Regional Council has eradicated the invasive pest plant, the yellow water lily, from all known Hawke's Bay locations after thirty years of work. 

Regional Council Biosecurity Biodiversity Advisor Darin Underhill says a final check of known locations in early January confirmed all traces were gone.

“We started control of yellow water lily in the 90’s, so the plant had been around for many years. We started with Horseshoe Lake in Central Hawke’s Bay, half of which was covered in yellow water lilies at the time. I sprayed the last piece on this lake in 2009, around 19 years later. I found more growth on a dam nearby, and it was another seven years before that was gone. The last known location was discovered in 2019 and was eradicated two years later in 2021.”

“It’s been a mammoth effort by different teams during the last thirty or so years, and we’re pleased our checks since 2021 have proven the plant has not grown back in any locations.”

“This is a huge win for our region as yellow water lily has a negative impact on water and wildlife wherever it grows. It’s dense, spreads quickly, and the large leaves cover water surfaces, blocking sunlight for other plants while changing the habitat for other organisms. Yellow water lily can easily choke out any healthy lake, pond, or stream.”

All previously infested areas will be monitored every three years to ensure there is no new growth.

If anyone believes they have found yellow water lily on their property, contact the Regional Council’s Biosecurity team on 06 835 9200 or visit and search #pesthub.

29 January 2024

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