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Hunua Ranges pest control updates

Published: 13 September 2018
Helicopters apply baits to the operational area using GPS-guided bucket technology, including a trickle bucket to ensure accuracy on operational boundaries.

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Hunua Ranges pest control update

UPDATED 14 September | Status of court proceedings

The council, joined by the Department of Conservation and other programme partners, presented evidence and made submissions to the Environment Court on 13 and 14 September in response to an application for an enforcement order to prevent the aerial Hunua pest management programme being carried out.

The court reserved its decision until next Friday (or sooner if the judge and commissioners are able to deliver their decision earlier than that). The temporary injunction that currently applies has been extended.

Any decisions about delivering the Hunua programme will be dependent on the court’s decision and, if in the council’s favour, the weather forecast. The right wind conditions and a fine weather window on either side of the bait application are required.

UPDATED 7 September | Stage one complete

The first phase of the pest control operation in the Hunua Ranges parklands, neighbouring Department of Conservation (DOC) administered land reserves and some private land, is complete. Parkland is now open again.

The operation is undertaken by Auckland Council in partnership with DOC.

Aerial application of non-toxic pre-feed began on 6 September across the whole  23,000-hectare (approximately) operational area.

Full details of Hunua Project 1080 pest management project.

Non-toxic pre-feed bait
Non-toxic pre-feed cereal baits.

The pre-feed familiarises pest animals with the cereal baits, prior to the application of baits containing 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate), in seven to 10 days’ time.

A satellite navigation system (GPS) and custom-designed bait applicators is being used to distribute bait (by helicopter) across the operational area.

The Hunua Ranges, Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks and tracks within the neighbouring DOC reserves are closed while the pre-feed application is carried out and will reopen when it is completed.

For more information, including park closure details, see our website or phone 09 301 0101.

Important information

  • 1080 is a deadly toxin – anyone visiting the ranges must observe warning signage and ensure that children do not touch or eat the toxic baits.
  • Dogs are also at risk – if you must visit the ranges (where dogs are permitted), supervise your dog at all times and do not allow it to scavenge baits or carcasses. If you suspect your dog has been poisoned, induce vomiting and immediately go to a vet.
  • The treatment area is around 23,000 hectares and includes Hunua Ranges, Waharau and Whakatiwai regional parks; the Department of Conservation (DOC) administered Mataitai Forest Conservation Area, Tai Rawhiti Scenic Reserve, Papa Turoa Scenic Reserve, Whakatiri Scenic Reserve, Plows Road Conservation Area, Paparimu Conservation Area, Mangatawhiri Forest Conservation Area, Vining Scenic Reserve and Richard Sylvan Memorial Reserve and some adjoining private land.
  • The area has been divided into two blocks which will be treated as follows:
    • Application of non-toxic pre-feed bait to the whole operational area.
    • Application of toxic bait (containing 1080) to block one (7-10 days after the pre-feed).
    • Application of toxic bait to block two (there will be at least two days between the treatment of blocks one and two).
  • The regional parks and the tracks on DOC land will be closed while bait is applied and until a rigorous track clearance programme has been completed.
  • Helicopters will not fly over the public water reservoirs; setbacks are in place around the reservoirs and the supply from the reservoirs to the water treatment plant will be disconnected while each block is being treated. Reservoirs will not be returned to service until extensive monitoring has been carried out and the water has tested clear. 

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Environment Parks