Pest Management

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Options for Pest Management 

For a complete list of pest control options, check the DOC and Waikato Regional Council websites. 

Traps on Council Managed Public Land

Our Council undertakes pest management on parks and reserves in line with the Waikato Pest Management Plan, however we don’t use leg-hold traps on our parks and reserves.  When undertaking pest management activities, preferred methods are instant kill traps or poisons that don’t pose a secondary poisoning risk.

If you wish to undertake pest control activities (especially leg-hold traps) on Council managed public spaces, prior to the undertaking of any pest management, please contact our Parks Team to discuss.

Dangerous Traps

Traps that are set incorrectly or without the permission of staff are dangerous to people using or maintaining parks and reserves. If you discover any dangerous traps on Council managed land, contact our Parks Team.

Our Council deems a trap dangerous when it does not comply with the DOC permit conditions (modified to relate to Council managed spaces as necessary), which are:

  1. Possum skins or carcasses must not be stored on Council managed public places. Possums must not be skinned in or around public infrastructure.
  2. Carcasses or offal must not be disposed of in Council managed parks and reserves.
  3. Use only the following scent lures: cinnamon, orange, aniseed, plum, cherry and lemon.  All other scent lures are prohibited.  Visual lures (e.g. flour and icing sugar) can be used.
  4. No damage or harvesting of trees or other vegetation is permitted.
  5. Use temporary, removable or biodegradable markers to mark trap lines and locations.  All markers must be removed when the work is completed.  Do not use aerosol paints.
  6. Traps must be set at least 70cm above ground level on a surface, or that the trap is installed in a kiwi-excluding enclosure.  This is so ground birds and pets will have a harder time accessing it.
  7. If any protected wildlife is harmed it must be cared for and handed in as soon as possible, whether alive or dead, to the nearest DOC Office. Please also contact our Customer Services team.
  8. Set all traps away from walkways.  No traps are to be laid within sight of a footpath or within 50m of any Council recreational infrastructure.
  9. For above ground sets, trap chains must be a sufficient length to prevent trapped possums being held in suspension.
  10. The trapper shall undertake necessary bio-security control to prevent Chytrid fungus and Kauri dieback disease.
  11. All access to Council managed parks and reserves over private land is to be arranged by the trapper before trapping takes place.

A trap that does not meet the above conditions will be considered dangerous under the Activities in Public Places Bylaw 2017 and will be removed at the owner’s cost.

For more information on pests and threats to native species, check out the Department of Conservation (DOC) page on pests and threats.

Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI)

The MPI enforces the Animal Welfare Act 1999, which sets the standards for leg-hold traps.  The main requirements are set out in the Animal Welfare (Leg-hold traps) Order 2007, which states that:

  • The trap must be within a specific size range
  • The trap must be inspected within 12 hours of sunrise each day
  • The express permission from any occupier of a dwelling must be given within 150 metres of a trap location
  • A trap cannot be used in an area where there is a probable risk of catching a companion animal (including pets). This applies to most urban areas.

If you notice that these requirements are not being met, contact MPI.

For more information

If you are interested in pest control on your property or public land, the Waikato Regional Council has developed educational resources on each pest that they monitor, which can be viewed here

For information, help or advice, the Waikato Regional Council animal and plant pest staff can be contacted on 0800 BIOSEC (0800 246 732).