Healthy Hunua

Kohukohunui (Hunua Ranges) pest management

Publish Date : 18 Oct 2017
Forest flourishes following Hunua pest blitz

Three years after the first range-wide pest management operation in the Hunua Ranges, Auckland Council will apply 1080 to the parkland and some neighbouring DOC and private land.

At the Environment and Community Committee on 17 October, the council confirmed the use of this pest-management methodology to continue the fight against rats and possums. 

Success in 2015

The 2015 1080 operation saw rat and possum numbers reduced to zero. As expected, rat numbers have slowly crept up to near pre-2015 operation levels and a further aerial operation has been proposed.

The aerial application of 1080 will continue to be used in Kohukohunui until a new methodology is identified that can deliver the same level of pest management outcomes in a safe and efficient manner.

Councillor Penny Hulse says the programme is proposed for winter 2018 and will now go through a similar operational planning process as the 2015 operation.

“We achieved significant environmental outcomes from the first pest-control programme and it’s now time to do it again. This decision is for the future health of this forest, and the species that live within it, and will enable staff to begin the permission and planning process to get a pest-control programme underway."

“Kohukohunui is treasured by all Aucklanders, but particularly by the iwi that identify with this area. We look forward to working alongside iwi once again to protect the taonga of this forest,” says Cr Hulse. 

A blanket of rata flowers

As a result of the previous operation, Deputy Mayor and Franklin Ward representative Bill Cashmore looks forward to a red blanket of rata flowers appearing soon.

“Kohukohunui contains some of the only virgin forest in the Auckland region. With the exception of a few areas, this forest is largely untouched – except by pests. We have already seen native species and the forest canopy bounce back, it is important that we maintain this approach and work towards the eradication of pest species altogether,” says Cr Cashmore.

A political advisory group of Cr Alf Filipaina (Chair), Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore, Franklin Local Board member Malcolm Bell, Cr Greg Sayers and James Brown of the Independent Māori Statutory Board was set up.

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