Funding top up boosts pest control total

Cornwallis Beach predator eradication

The ongoing work to make Cornwallis predator free will benefit a great deal from the $14,512 allocated to it from The Trusts Million Dollar Mission funding programme.

Voting from the public helped decided where the $1m of charity funding would end up. Following the voting period a total of just over $9,000 was raised for local predator eradication.

However, in an unexpected but greatly appreciated move, The Trusts have injected further funds into their Million Dollar Mission funding programme, giving a boost of more than $5,000 to the predator control programme. 

Amanda Cassidy, spokesperson for The Trusts West Auckland, says the funding was originally earmarked for the distribution of household items, but instead has been used to further support local community groups. 

The final result represents a big win for the Cornwallis predator control team - known as the Petrelheads.

Alex Duncan of the Petrelheads offered his thanks to everyone that voted. 

"The money raised will enable the purchase of a substantial number of self-resetting traps and to service them with lures, counters and gas for the next two years," says Alex. "With the ongoing generous support of Auckland Council providing DOC200 traps and expertise, trap coverage of all of Cornwallis park land is now within sight."

The eventual goal is to also get coverage for the adjacent Spragg Peninsula.

Cornwallis weed control programme

A Cornwallis Beach barbecue was held recently (pictured above) to mark the start of a new localised weed control programme.

Many residents came down for a free sausage, but also to learn about which weeds are being targeted and what the plan is to try and remove them.climbing asparagus

The small crowd was told that between October 2019 and March 2020, all Cornwallis residents qualify for free weed control of any amount of climbing asparagus and wild ginger (both pictured left) - two of the most virulent weeds in the area.

Both weeds smother growth and prevent regeneration of native species.

Birds eat the berries of both species and carry the seeds deep into native bush, spreading the menace further.wild ginger

Other plants being targeted include; moth plant, woolly nightshade, jasmine, madeira vine, rhamnus and formsa lily.

Sarah Gibbs, senior biosecurity advisor for Auckland Council, says where small amounts of pest plant species are found, staff will control them by hand to prevent them spreading.

“Where necessary to prevent root stock or tubers re-sprouting, a small amount of herbicide will be applied to the stump,” says Gibbs.

The control programme is being run by Auckland Council in association with the EcoMatters Environmental Trust and Te Ngahere Native Forest Management.

The booking deadline for the free weed control offer has now passed, but the work will continue into the new year.

The weed control team are aiming  to visit as many properties on the peninsula as possible and stress that they are only looking for certain pest plants and weeds and are not concerned with anything else.

Accompanying the control programme on private property, other areas set for weed removal and spraying included regional park land, land around Cornwallis Beach reserve and along the road.

Funding for the weed control programme comes from the Waitakere Ranges Local Board and Auckland Council’s Natural Environment Targeted Rate.

For more information, see the Auckland Council’s website of pest plants


Cornwallis Beach Tweets