Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | February 21, 2011

well done blasting those possums

A pat on the back for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

During a visit to Hawke’s Bay on Friday (to open a new $20million extension to the McCain’s factory) Minister of Agriculture David Carter heard all about the successful possum control programmes happening in the region.

The cooperation of the farming community has been credited with the success of the possum control (both the Council’s PCA programme or Possum Control Areas and the Animal Health Board’s programmes).

 The PCA programme involves farmers working in groups to manage traps and bait stations to keep possums to a low level . In the longer running PCA projects, possum levels are now at 2% or less, which means for every 100 monitoring traps only two or fewer possums are caught.

As rivettingkatetaylor does some work for both the Council’s biosecurity team, through its Spotlight newsletter, and also for the Animal Health Board as secretary of the Hawke’s Bay TB Free committee, I was invited along to this occasion (a presentation at the Council then morning tea with some farmers at the dog trial rooms at Kahuranaki Station). As well as the nice cup of tea and huge slice of chocolate cake ( 🙂 ) it was a pleasure to see members of our farming community warmly welcome three politicians into their fold.

Mr Carter was joined by great local MPs Chris Tremain and Craig Foss. Discussion wasn’t limited to possums though, or the weather, with one discussion revolving around the demise of Bob’s pub at Lincoln after the earthquake! I know politicians can put on the public face to impress who ever it is they’re talking to at the time, but I beliebe the enthusiasm shown by the three in their discussions with these local farmers was genuine. Comments were heard to that effect after they left as well – one saying they couldn’t believe how easy the Minister was to talk to (they are just normal people, affter all!)

On a business note, the Minister was told about the programmes and their benefits for both TB control and biodiversity, as well as research being done into being able to prove the economic benefits of the work. Mr Carter said he was also impressed with the way the Council was involving urban ratepayers – with possum control happening on Napier Hill and the outskirts/bush areas of Havelock North for biodiversity reasons. 

I can’t tell you too much more, or show you anymore photos, because I’m getting paid to put them elsewhere 🙂  but I will say Kahuranaki made a great backdrop!

Minister of Agriculture David Carter and local farmer Hugh Pearse with one end of Kahuranaki in the background

Now I’m off to take photos of industrial sites looking after their stormwater drains….

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