Wednesday, 04 March 2020 10:51

Invasive weed water hyacinth found in Waikato River 

Written by  Staff Reporters
Water hyacinth. Image: Biosecurity New Zealand. Water hyacinth. Image: Biosecurity New Zealand.

An invasive weed that can reduce water quality and block irrigation systems has been discovered in the Waikato River.

A joint Biosecurity New Zealand and Waikato Regional Council work programme is now underway to remove the small cluster of the pest water hyacinth in the river near Huntly.

The agencies are working together with local iwi to ensure any water hyacinth present is located and safely removed. The team will then coordinate ongoing checks to make sure it hasn't come back.

Biosecurity New Zealand's manager of pest management, John Sanson, says water hyacinth is a rapidly growing water weed that if left, can form dense mats that reduce water quality, crowd out native water plants and animals, block irrigation systems and alter ecosystems.

"In this instance, we've found just 2 individual plants in the slow waters at the edges of the river and 1 plant in a cluster of willows further out into the stream.

"The plants have clearly come from a container of water hyacinth being kept at a private property in Huntly backing onto the river. This container was close to a drain next to the river bank and we believe that's how the plants entered the waterway."

Sanson says all known plants have been removed from the water and inspections have found no further sign of the weed.

However, as a precaution, a more comprehensive survey is taking place today, using a boat supplied by the council harbour master. 

It is illegal to sell, propagate or distribute water hyacinth. Those who may have seen the pest can call Biosecurity New Zealand’s pests and diseases hotline on 0800 80 99 66.

More like this

Farmers up their game

A Waikato environmentalist who led a public campaign against poor winter grazing practices on Southland farms says farmers are making improvements.

Queries linger around water plan

DairyNZ says it is still working through the details of the Government’s Essential Freshwater package announced late last month.

Featured

 

Limited feed puts ewes at risk

Severe feed shortages in parts of the country mean many ewes are on a nutritional knife-edge heading into lambing and could be at risk of developing metabolic disorders.

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped him getting out and about in difficult environments.

National

A ticking time bomb

Our dairy industry risks being exposed to a ‘ticking time bomb’ of unethical players unlawfully passing off New Zealand-made and…

Nervous wait for winter

The unknown of what winter will bring is very much on the mind of the Hawkes Bay Rural Support Trust…

Be careful, Potatoes NZ!

Moves by the NZ potato industry to have anti-dumping tariffs imposed on European imports could play into the hands of…

China keeps dairy prices high

Whole milk powder (WMP) prices are now sitting above pre-Covid-19 levels and New Zealand farmers can thank a resurging Chinese…

Machinery & Products

Hydrogen excavator a first

While most motive industries are focused on hybrid or EV power plants, JCB has developed the construction industry’s first hydrogen-powered…

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped…

HP and digital tech combo

The latest New Holland T8 GENESIS is said to capitalise on the productive combinations of Stage V horsepower and digital…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Spell check

Your old mutt was not surprised to see the NZ Dairy Industry Awards hastily remove the title of this year’s…

About time!

Your canine crusader has been a long-time critic of NZ governments – of all stripes – who, for the past…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter