Focus on eliminating pampas
Eliminating pampas from the roading network is a focus for Tairāwhiti Roads over the next three years.
Pampas is a highly invasive pest plant native to South America. Known as ‘cutty grass’, it is a serious threat to natural areas like sand dunes, stream banks and on roadsides, where it reduces visibility and also harbours pests such as rats, mice and possums.
There are considerable pampas infestations on the roading network and it is likely to take a minimum of 5 years to get it to a pest-free state.
Due to the size of the local road network (1900km), the focus for the next 2 to 3 years will be the Waipaoa ward, linking in with parts of the state highway spraying programme and removal of plants near the Waingake water treatment plant catchment.
A coloured dye will be added to the treatment to provide a visual indicator of what plants have been sprayed.
A budget of $100k is provided for local roads annually and $50k for state highways.
The target areas on highways this year are from Gisborne city to Maraetaha near Bartletts, from the city to Te Karaka on SH2 and from the city to Tolaga Bay on SH35.
Once pampas is eliminated, Tairāwhiti Roads will move onto other species such as blackberry.