Watch out for unwelcome weeds at your place this Spring. These plants (and others) have been identified as 'plant pests' in Environment Waikato's new Regional Pest Management Strategy. Every pest in the Region is in one of four categories based on its effects, distribution, density and control methods currently available. Four "nasties" below are "eradication pests" because they have limited distributions. Environment Waikato will fund and directly control these plants with the aim to completely clear them from the Region. The others are all well established in the Waikato, so they're in a containment category. The aim is to prevent these pests spreading to new areas and stop adverse effects they may cause. Land occupiers are required to control most 'containment pests' across their entire property, with some exceptions.
There are four species of privet
Its sole virtue is that it can be harvested and fed to monarch butterfly caterpillars. They don't do as well on it as they do on swan plant, but most chrysalyses hatch fairly well.
Fast-growing shrub, can grow 2 - 3 m high. Produces many seeds, can remain dormant for many years. Dispersed by birds feeding on the berry-like fruit. limited mainly to coastal areas around Whiritoa, Waihi and Raglan; one large infestation behind Thames township. Can shade out seedling trees like pohutukawa and prevent beach access. Not common in the Cambridge area.
The Regional Council's biosecurity team will assist and/or advise on any suspected 'Plant Pests' Details of some of these plants, including photos, can be found under the "Plants" heading at the top of this page.