North Shore City, Manukau City, Waitakere City, Auckland City (on Waiheke Island) and Papakura City councils joined forces with Auckland Regional Council to run the campaign from March to May this year, with the aim of reducing moth plant vines and the number of seeds being dispersed over winter.
The campaign was run on a modest budget by taking advantage of networks already established with environmental groups in the region, media releases to local newspapers, fliers in public areas, website links, and roadside signs.
“We really wanted to add value to the work councils were already doing on parks and reserves, by reducing the risk of reinvasion from vines growing in other properties,” says Su Sinclair, regional Weedbusters coordinator at Auckland Regional Council.
Moth plant is of particular concern for Auckland’s off-shore islands, where it can cause massive damage to natural environments.
Auckland City Council Parks and Reserves Officer, Gary Wilton, says that Waiheke is winning the battle against moth plant. After several years of hunting down every plant on council land they are getting on top of this weed.
Motutapu Island Restoration Trust’s volunteers are also familiar with moth plant, with Trust spokesperson Bridget Winstone estimating that 90-95% of their weedbusting effort is spent dealing with this pernicious climber. - amounting to hundreds of hours every year.
“Thousands of the green choko-like seed pods are removed from the native forests that are being planted on Motutapu,” says Bridget.
“The Trust takes this weed very seriously, as it can smother mature trees.”