New Alligator Weed outbreak hits NZ region -

New Alligator Weed outbreak hits NZ region

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New Alligator Weed outbreak hits NZ region

A new outbreak of Alligator Weed has emerged in New Zealand's Waikato region with the council now working to control the pest, website Radio New Zealand reported.

The story reported the South American weed broke out at Ruapake Beach, between Raglan and Kawhia.

The weed is known for its thick roots that block waterways and is already present in other parts of Waikato, Northland and Auckland.

Waikato Regional Council biosecurity officer Wendy Mead, told Radio New Zealand the weed was probably spread by fishing nets, and was found by a Department of Conservation officer.

A Horticulture New Zealand spokesperson told the incursion wasn't 'top of the list' for the industry at the moment due to problems with kiwifruit vine disease Psa, but growers had learned that you can never underestimate an incursion.

"Alligator weed is not considered to be a major threat to horticulture, but we obviously keep an eye on the situation and are concerned to see it having an impact in a new region or environment.

"Because it has the ability to clog waterways, drainage and irrigation, it has the potential to be problematic and require control.

"Horticulture in the Waikato region is very diverse, and includes pipfruit, berryfruit and vegetable production."

Photo: Auckland Regional Council

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