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Possum control still the responsibility of landowners

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Hawke’s Bay Regional Council says possum control is still the responsibility of landowners until the programme transitions to being delivered by professional possum contractors.

Regional Council Principal Advisor Biosecurity Biodiversity Mark Mitchell says “We know there are some in the rural community who are seeing an increase in possums in their local area and this was factored in to the Regional Council review of the possum programme. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to implement this transition as soon as we would like so we are reminding landowners to please undertake annual possum control to ensure possum numbers do not increase any further.”

The Regional Council voted in December last year to amend the Regional Pest Management Plan and to consider funding the use of professional contractors for possum control, after consulting with the community which included key sector groups who were strongly in favour of this change.  However, the vote was only to change possum control in an upcoming Long-Term Plan.

“The move to a possum contractor model is parked for now, as the Regional Council focuses on cyclone recovery work. The contractor model will likely be considered in the Long Term Plan 2028-2038,” says Mr Mitchell.

Under the Regional Council’s Possum Control Area programme, landowners are responsible for the control of possums on their land. This requirement will remain in place until the programme transitions to a contractor delivery model.

“Our staff provide advice around control methods and have significantly increased the possum monitoring programme. Overall possum abundance across the programme is still below the four percent trap catch requirement in the Regional Pest Management Plan. Staff will be watching possum numbers closely and working with land occupiers where there are issues.”

“The possum control programme has been in place for 23 years, and thanks to the hard work of farmers and contractors, the possum population has been maintained at very low levels. It’s important that landowners continue to undertake possum control annually as once possums increase in numbers it can be costly to reduce them back down.”

For advice about how to control possums and to request advice, go to, search #pesthub

The Regional Council subsidises possum bait and bait stations by 40 percent and this is available at Farmlands and PGG Wrightson stores.

10 October 2023

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