The Department of Conservation (DOC) will be contributing an extra $100,000 to target invasive weeds within Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge.
The funding is part of DOC’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ weeds programme benefitting weed control projects across the country, targeting those weeds identified as doing the most damage to our natural landscapes.
The Te Āpiti – Manawatū Gorge Governance Group, made up of senior representatives from Horizons Regional Council, DOC, Palmerston North City Council, Tararua District Council, Manawatu District Council, iwi and a community representative, welcome this much needed funding boost.
The Group’s membership reflects the high level of commitment towards protecting, enhancing and sustaining the biodiversity, recreational, educational and cultural values of the wider Manawatu Gorge area. The Gorge offers a range of recreational activities in a highly-visited biodiversity management and scenic location, which has the potential to contribute to a stronger economy, community and cultural wellbeing.
The Governance Group has set itself goals, which in its first year includes budget for pest control and parks and reserve management, and the compiling of an overarching biodiversity management plan for the area.
DOC director operations Lower North Island and Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge Governance Group member Reg Kemper says the funding will target two areas. $80,000 will be used for ground control of old man’s beard and the remaining $20,000 will be used for control of Japanese honeysuckle and wandering willie.
“This funding is in addition to the project’s current $50,000 budget, which we hope will allow us to treat all accessible old man’s beard vines in the project area during the upcoming season,” says Horizons Regional Council and Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge Governance Group Chair Bruce Gordon.
“If this is achieved, future old man’s beard control will consist of maintenance works at a much reduced cost and the native forest will be protected from one of its major threats,” says Mr Gordon.