Plant Pest Control

With over 300 pest plant species in our region, controlling these pests is a huge job. Our Region’s biodiversity (native habitat) is threatened by pest plants which can choke lakes, degrade wetlands, collapse forest canopies, smother regeneration in natural areas, and invade alpine and tussockland. 


Horizons employs Environmental Management Officers across the Region. They have primary responsibility for inspection, enforcement, advisory and monitoring activities. They're responsible for organising contractors to carry out control work on zero-density plants and enforcement work. 


Under the Biosecurity Act Horizons produces and implements a Regional Pest Plant Management Strategy Operation Plan. The plan is to prevent new incursions of pest plants and manage the impacts of those pest plants already established.

View the Regional Pest Plant Management Strategy (RPPMS) Operational Plan.

Biological Control

Biological control or biocontrol has resulted in substantial pest plant management gains through the use of one living organism to control another.  It has proven particularly useful for controlling widespread weeds that are well established, that are heavy seeders, or have large seed banks.  Once the agents are well established there is generally no need to make further releases as the population disperses and becomes self-sustaining.  However, it can take many years (decades even) for the population to build up to a point where it impacts substantially on the host plant.

It is worth noting that successful biocontrol does not usually eradicate its host. Success may mean a reduction of infestation size, vigour, or abundance into the foreseeable future.  It should be viewed as a tool that complements other weed management options.  Biocontrol may reduce population levels to a point where control using physical or chemical methods is minimised, or even unnecessary.

The biocontrol programme exists to carry-out releases of new and existing agents against entrenched pests, raise awareness of the programme and support research into new agents. For more information check out the Landcare Research website.

Yellow Bristle Grass

Yellow bristle grass is an annual summer grass which is invading pastures from roadside infestations, via stock movement and in infested hay, balage and silage.Like many weeds, yellow bristle grass will readily colonise bare ground areas that have recently been sprayed. 


Yellow bristle grass is likely to have been present in the Horizons region for decades. It is not a declared pest in this region but in response to increasing concern, Horizons is promoting awareness and encouraging management practices to minimise its spread.

Wilding Conifer Project

DOC, Forest companies, Environment Bay of Plenty, Environment Waikato, Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Horizons Regional Council, Tasman District Council, Marlborough District Council, Environment Canterbury, Environment Southland, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Land Information NZ, High Country Federated Farmers, Landcorp Farming, Royal Forest and Bird Society,  and Scion.


The present idea to form a Wilding Conifer Management Group and to seek funds from the SFF originated in late 2005. The Project aims to promote and improve the understanding of wilding conifer spread ecology and basic control strategies. It has three core objectives:

  1. Improving the assessment of Wilding Conifer spread risk, and the prioritisation of control operations. The major output will be via GIS maps.
  2. Determining the most appropriate and cost-effective techniques for removing wildings and killing standing conifers - a major output will be a handbook of the most user-friendly, safe and cost-effective operational control methods, plus how to audit and monitor them efficiently.
  3. Determining vegetation successions after wilding invasion and control, so that they can be manipulated towards the most desired vegetation cover (often native species). 

Preventing Freshwater Weed Invasions

Our Region has been forged by rivers, and along with our lakes they are sources of food and enjoyment for many of us. By checking for pest weeds and pest animals, and cleaning your gear or drying it thoroughly, you will be protecting our waterways. Unfortunately we have several freshwater pests already causing problems in our region. By following the simple steps of CHECK, CLEAN, DRY we can stop the spread of these pests and also prevent even worse pests, like didymo establishing in the North Island.


This summer, look out for the Horizons CHECK, CLEAN, DRY Crew at a river or lake near you. The CCD Crew will be passing on knowledge and gear to users of our wonderful waterways to ensure freshwater pests don't spread throughout the Region. The CCD Crew are also available to come and talk to groups, set up displays at your event or to support cleaning stations for sporting events in and around freshwater spots in our Region. If you would like to arrange a visit from the crew or some professional development for your staff to deliver effective freshwater/CHECK, CLEAN, DRY advocacy, then contact us.


You too can become an advocate for protecting our freshwater resources by joining Team CHECK, CLEAN, DRY. Ask one of the crew members to sign up to the CHECK, CLEAN, DRY Pledge to join the team this summer.


For the best cleaning methods for your gear and the latest information to prevent freshwater pests spreading click here.

Report a pest / get advice

Not sure if you’ve identified a weed? Need to know how to deal with a pest? Our pest management team wants to hear from you. Our pest management role includes providing advice to the public. If you are having problems with pest animals or plants we can offer advice on control options.


Contact the team

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.