Pests and weeds on the West Coast
The wild West Coast is home to some of New Zealand’s most dramatic landscapes. The Otira, Maruia, Grey and Buller rivers are integral to the local ecosystem providing water and nutrients that feed the region’s precious native plants and animals.
Left uncontrolled, weeds including broom and gorse can spread quickly from these rivers’ beds and edges to neighbouring land. These weeds also provide cover for pest animals including possums and rats, which prey on our precious native birds, insects, lizard and skinks species.
Tackling the problem
Our control work in the West Coast has made good progress and the level of weeds on these rivers is relatively low. Our annual works programme here focusses on maintaining and progressively reducing the level of weeds to ensure they can’t spread further or establish elsewhere.
An important part of our work on the West Coast is monitoring to make sure weeds aren’t increasing and spreading. This is carried out by helicopter and on the ground, so we can identify if and where targeted control work is required.
Working with others
We work with a range of local partners including on the Otira River where we work alongside the Department of Conservation. This partnership has driven our success in tackling the infestation of broom and gorse on this picturesque and famously painted river.
How you can help
All lake and river users also have a role to play in stopping the spread of water weeds. If you’re moving between waterways, you must clean all your gear using the 'Check, Clean, Dry' method. This stops plant fragments moving between waterways, which can be all it takes for a new infestation to begin.