Animal Pest Projects

Many of the plants now considered environmental pest plants were imported as ornamental garden plants for their colour, scent, or beauty. These plants have escaped into the wild, and in favourable conditions they grow and spread rapidly. Horizons believes managing pest animals is vital to help protect agricultural and horticultural production and native flora and fauna in our Region.

The protection of agricultural production values continues to be the focus. In addition to possums, the management of introduced predators like cats and ferrets and browsers like goats and deer is needed to safeguard the biological diversity of the Region. These species are wide-spread and their management presents the challenge of doing too little in too many places.

Under the Biosecurity Act (1993), Horizons produces and implements a Regional Pest Animal Management Strategy. Our role under the strategy is to prevent the incursion of new animal pests and sufficiently manage those already established.

View the Regional Pest Animal Management Strategy (RPAMS) Operational Plan.


Possum control programme

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.

Possums are incredibly destructive to our native environment and production. It’s estimated that 14-15 possums can eat the same amount of grass as one sheep. They can also be carriers of bovine tuberculosis. Initiated in 2006, Horizons’ possum control programme aims to bring all rateable land under sustainable possum control by 2017. This is approximately 1.5 million hectares.

Horizons’ current possum control programme came about in 2006 as TbFree NZ (formerly known as the Animal Health Board) began to scale back its operations in areas where it had been successful in reducing bovine tuberculosis. Horizons’ work complements possum control on Crown land carried out by the Department of Conservation and Animal Health Board work to control bovine tuberculosis.

Tb vector control

You may know possums destroy native habitats in our region and threaten wildlife – but did you know they are also a major Tb vector?

A Tb vector is a wild animal that transmits Bovine tuberculosis (Tb) to farmed animals. This infectious disease is one of New Zealand’s most serious animal health problems, which puts access to beef and venison export markets at risk.

The Animal Health Board (AHB), in partnership with Horizons Regional Council, has been conducting Tb possum control operations for several years in our Region.
The results have been a successful reduction in Tb, as indicated by the number of infected cattle and deer herds. Some areas are now testing clear of the disease, showing a large reduction in the possum population.

Our aim is to continue reducing possum numbers to the point where we are satisfied we have eradicated Tb in the wildlife. We will conduct surveys of the wildlife to prove this – wild pigs as well as possums are a good indicator.
A spin-off from our Tb work is that many of the Region’s native habitats and wildlife are protected from the pesky possum.

This application form, applicant declaration form, and competencies questionnaire is designed to collect information to support the selection process for employment with Horizons. Please complete the application form in full in addition to providing your CV and covering letter.

This information is collected in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993 for the purpose of assessing your suitability for employment with Horizons Regional Council. If your application is successful, this form, together with any supporting documentation, will be retained on your personal file. If your application is unsuccessful your application and supporting documentation will be retained for 12 months after which time it will be confidentially destroyed. You have the right of access to any personal information and to request any correction you think necessary to ensure its accuracy.

Position applied for:

Personal Details

* Only include your work number if you are happy for us to contact you discretely at work

Qualifications (List most recent qualification first):

Please note that you may be required to provide evidence of your qualifications, including certificates of completion and/or academic transcripts where relevant.

Employment History (List most recent employer first. Further employers may be supplied in CV)


We may contact referees to verify the information you provide as part of the application process. Please ensure that at least one of your referees is your manager/supervisor from your current or most recent employer. Referee checks are generally conducted at the final stage of the selection process and we will inform you prior to contacting your current employer.

By signing this application form you are giving permission for Horizons to seek verbal or written information about you from the referees nominated below, and authorise the information to be released to those involved in the selection process. Please note that referee reports will remain confidential to Horizons Regional Council and will not normally be available to you.


Competencies Assessment

This form is intended to assess your competence against specific Horizons behaviours and values. Please complete using up to date and relevant examples.

Health Declaration and Criminal Offences Declaration

Please note that your responses to the questions on this form will only be considered to the extent that they affect the position applied for. If you are offered employment with Horizons Regional Council, the offer may be made subject to the satisfactory completion of a medical examination (at the expense of Horizons Regional Council). Any false or misleading information given in relation to your medical history, can result in you being ineligible for work-related injury compensation, including the loss of entitlement for any compensation from ACC, and may lead to the termination of your employment.

Criminal Convictions, Traffic Offences, and Charges Pending

The declaration of a criminal conviction or traffic offence will not necessarily impact on your suitability for employment.  Any convictions and/or offences declared will be considered in the first instance by the People & Capability Department against Horizons Regional Council criteria in line with the job description for the position you are applying for.

You may also be required to undergo a criminal history check through the Department of Courts as part of the recruitment process.  Please note that any false or misleading information given in relation to the questions asked below may result in the termination of your employment.

Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004

To be protected by the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004, you must meet all conditions in Section 7 of the Act (set out as a summary below), before your convictions can be withheld. Convictions not meeting these requirements should be declared on this form.

You must have:

  • No convictions within the last seven years; and
  • Never been sentenced to a custodial sentence, eg. imprisonment, corrective training, borstal; and
  • Never been ordered by a Court following a criminal case to be detained in a hospital due to your medical condition, instead of being sentenced; and
  • Not been convicted of a “specified offence” (eg. sexual offending against children and young people or the mentally impaired); and
  • Paid in full any fine, reparation, or cost ordered by the court in a criminal case; and
  • Never been indefinitely disqualified from driving under section 65 Land Transport Act 1998, or earlier equivalent provision.
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By submitting this form I declare that the answers I have given in this Application for Employment form, including the Health Declaration and Criminal Conviction, Traffic Offence, and Charges Pending questions are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.  I understand that if Horizons Regional Council employs me and it is found that the information I have provided is untrue or misleading, or any material fact suppressed, I may face disciplinary action, which may result in the termination of my employment.