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26 September 2002
The dastardly Devil's tail tearthumb keeps company with other notorious pest plants in a weed identification manual being distributed nation wide as part of the National Pest Plant Accord (NPPA).
The New Zealand Pest Plant Manual is the result of close collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Regional Councils, the Department of Conservation, the Nursery and Garden Industry Association, and with the support of the Royal Forest and Bird Society.
The NPPA, which is an agreement between local and national government, aimed at the consistent and coordinated management of pest plants across the country. At this point 13 Regional Councils have signed the Accord.
The Manual outlines a list of nearly 100 national and regional pest plants that are banned from commercial sale or distribution.
Unfortunately the spread of pest plants can be by the inadvertent action of gardeners unaware of their noxious status. To address this, Regional Councils with the endorsement of the Nursery and Garden Industry Association, distributed information and display material to all garden centres, to educate gardeners and inform those participating in the nursery industry on the plants listed in the Accord.
Those Regional Councils that have signed the Accord will actively monitor and inspect plant nurseries, garden retail centres and other commercial outlets where listed plants may be found. Breaches could result in prosecution under the Biosecurity Act 1993.
Many deceptively innocuous offenders such as Old man's beard, Wandering jew, and the common Blackberry can have a devastating impact upon our environment. Huge dense mats of Salvinia, Alligator weed, or Yellow water lily can clog our waterways causing the death of native fish and indigenous aquatic plants.
Keeping new pest plants out of New Zealand and restricting the spread of those already here are critical issues for biosecurity. Awareness is an important form of biosecurity surveillance.
A copy of the manual can be purchased for $15 from the Auckland Regional Council.
For more information please contact:
Philippa White, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 04 498 9948 or 025 223 1875
Steve Hix, Auckland Regional Council 09 366 2000 ext 8771 or 021 222 9064
Andrew Harrison, Department of Conservation 04 471 3271 or 027 273 7797