We all know the pesky possum destroys New Zealand's native plants and threatens wildlife like the Kiwi.
Horizons Regional Council is one of the major players in the game of possum control in the Region, working not only to improve the Region’s biodiversity but also to protect property value and farm production by managing possums on farmland and other private property.
In the 2011-12 Draft Annual Plan Horizons is proposing to put an extra $156,000 towards its Possum Control, $81,000 coming from rates, the rest from reserves. This would bring the total possum control budget to $2.40million.
Horizons' programme complements work done by the Animal Health Board (AHB), whose purpose is to eliminate Bovine Tuberculosis’, and the Department of Conservation, who are responsible for crown land.
For the past 20 years Horizons has been helping to pay for the nation-wide AHB programme.
It's worked so well for our Region that there's been a huge drop in the numbers of stock getting Tb, with some parts of the Region completely free of the disease.
Last year we got strong feedback from the rural community that it wanted Horizons to continue to collect money on behalf of AHB.
This year we're proposing to extend this levy for another year and fund AHB Tb to the value of $650,000. We're predicting $100,000 of this will come from savings made this year and the rest from people who have properties over four hectares, at a cost of $0.34 per hectare plus GST.