Pest plant infestation, Chalmers Reserve

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Reported in the Other category by Christopher Thompson at 15:45, Sat 9 June 2012

Sent to Auckland Council 5 min later.

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The lower part of the reserve has a significant infestation of pest plants including but not restricted to: mature containment pest plants (removal) woolly nightshade (Solanum mauritianum); containment pest plants (boundary control) gorse (Ulex spp.); surveillance pest plants blackberry (Rubus fructicosus), mature bush wattle (Parascrianthes laphantha) and pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana). While the infestation boxers on the railway embankment it lies within the boundary of the designated reserve and is thus the responsibility of Auckland Council. Surprisingly and unusually, the railway corridor is relatively free of pest plant infestations, although, obviously, this will not be the case should the reserve infestation not be dealt with. I note that the mature woolly nightshade would appear to be the seed source of a major infestation of juvenile plants apparent throughout the reserve, along the railway embankment and in adjacent private properties. This infestation should be removed. The continued existence of the infestation detracts from the indigenous landscaping of the reserve.

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Initially this report was ignored by AC other than the statutory automatic response. After a month of inaction I then contacted directly Councillor Sandra Coney, chair of the AC Parks and Heritage Committee, who followed the matter through. The infestation was sprayed on 13 July by Biosecurity Services Ltd who also appear to have partially hacked down some of the more obvious pest plants although, bizarrely, leaving others. It still looks pretty dreadful but at least a major source of further infestations has been destroyed. I guess this is what we have come to expect in Whau. No action whatsoever from the 'local' councillor Noelene Raffills.
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