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Tackling pest plants in Kaipatiki through community engagement.

Over the last few months we have been engaging with the community through our Pest Plant Campaign. The aims of the campaign are to raise awareness of pest plants, encourage residents to tackle weeds on their property, and to make it easier for residents to remove these plants with training and help from volunteers.

Part of this campaign involved the delivery of almost 2000 letters by a group of hardworking volunteers who logged over 30 hours of their time, so a big thank you goes out to all of them. The letters were delivered to households close to areas of significant ecological value to focus our delivery efforts where they could have the largest impact.

The letter included information on identifying the worse pest plants, in particular the voracious and easily spreadable Moth Plant. It also highlighted some of the things people can do to be a good neighbour and help reduce the impact of pests around them, such as eliminating pest weeds around their property, by hosting a rat trap or becoming a Street Champion to help others.

If you want to help there are many things you can do. Check out our website for ways you can get involved in tackling pest plants. Even during lockdown we have a list of backyard activities coming very soon.

Dealing with Moth plant

Recognise: Evergreen climbing vine, to 6m high. Narrow green stems, pointed arrowhead-shaped leaves. Small, creamy tubular flowers Dec-May. Large seed pods with 250 – 1000 wind-blown seeds. If you take a photo you can use iNaturalist to identify it.

Report: Download the Ecotrack app, register and then report the Moth Plant.

Remove: Important if handling Moth plant, wear gloves, long sleeves and protective eyewear to avoid contact with the milky sap as it can be an irritant. If you see any pods or flowers, remove them and place in a plastic bag in your main rubbish. If you can, pull or dig out all the roots and leave hanging off the ground to die.

Restore: Find out which native plants you can plant in your backyard, your workplace or school or join a local restoration group​.

Other pest plants to look out for at this time of year are Blue morning glory, Madeira vine, Woolly nightshade and Pampas grass

Moth plant pod and flowers:

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