Turning up the heat on weeds in the Central North Island

16 September 2021

Work is underway to help support rare plants struggling to survive in geothermal areas near Wairakei in the Central North Island.

Team walking at a geothermal restoration site
Toitū Te Whenua LINZ and Waikato Regional Council staff at a geothermal restoration site, Wairakei area, Central North Island, 25 February 2021. Credit: Toitū Te Whenua LINZ.

Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is providing $650,000 from its Jobs for Nature programme to the Waikato Regional Council to help protect geothermal sites and to tackle invasive weeds in the Waikato River. 

Head of Crown Property at LINZ, Jerome Sheppard says project work includes assessing and developing a restoration plan for geothermal sites LINZ administers.   

“These geothermal areas support rare and endangered plants that have adapted to life in sites that are globally unique. It’s exciting to play a part in protecting these fragile ecosystems.” 

Biosecurity control work is also underway on and alongside LINZ-administered parts of the Waikato River where invasive alligator weed and yellow flag iris weed threaten the river system.   

These prolific weeds can displace native species and, in the case of alligator weed, risk spreading onto nearby farmland where the weed can outcompete grass and crops.     

The Council is expanding its existing biosecurity programme and contractor workforce to carry out work across the two project areas. 

In Budget 2020 LINZ received $40 million over four years toward its biosecurity work from the Government’s $1.219 billion Jobs for Nature programme. The programme aims to improve social, environmental, and economic outcomes for communities across New Zealand.
 

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