Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has the largest possum control area (PCA) programme in New Zealand. There are approximately 400,000 hectares of Hawke’s Bay farmland currently under PCA programmes, with the aim to have a million hectares involved by 2016. And HB farmers are extremely proficient at killing the buggers, keeping our region well under compliance levels.

Something we Belfords have taken advantage of, doing our bit for the export sector.

Well over a dozen Americans are proud and satisfied wearers of possum socks, thanks to the Belford family. Amazingly soft and warm, possum socks are one of our favourite gifts to relatives and friends back in the States. Apart from their creature comfort, they’re light, easy to pack and indestructible!

That’s why we’re thrilled with yesterday’s announcement from the Regional Council …

“An innovative partnership will be trialed between Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, the commercial possum fur recovery industry, and local possum contractors Baytrap Ltd to undertake commercial recovery of possum fur in combination with initial possum control work.

This could result in cost savings of 30-50% for Council’s initial possum control programme and provide product for a growing possum fur market.

Council have accepted a staff proposal to trial an area of approx 10,000 hectares near Mahia Peninsula between January and June next year to test if the commercial recovery proposal can work.

‘By thinking a little differently, we can achieve a better outcome for both the region’s biodiversity and economy. Creating these opportunities is the way of the future, as they allow the Regional Council to achieve more within available resources,’ said Asset management and Biosecurity Council Chairman, Cr Kevin Rose.”

Good on ya Councillor Rose.

Inspired by this initiative, Regional Councillor Scott has inquired into whether Baytrap can expand the program to eradicate yet another annoying pest … trout.

Enthused Councillor Scott: “I say if a program works, replicate it. If we can get rid of the pesky trout in Bay rivers like the Tukituki and Mohaka, then we won’t have to bother ourselves about maintaining river flows or keeping the water clean. And if that works, then we can get Baytrap to target the real nuisance species … environmentalists. I’d like some of their skins myself.”

A stakeholders group is planned to study her proposal.


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  1. This is positive – the possum blitz, not the genocide of environmentalists!

    Hopefully the pilot is successful, and we can expand these sorts of on the ground control of pests into protected Crown and Council lands to reduce the amount of 1080 dropped aerially. The Ruahine/Kaweka gets little if any pest control, and the forest is suffering as a result, as are kiwi and whio populations.

    I'd like to see Govt put more money into pest control, and also work with Councils and communities to run ground-based operations that are as effective as aerial 1080, help the local economy, create jobs, and do not require the indiscriminate spreading of a toxin through the bush.

    Quentin (Green Party Tukituki candidate)

  2. Well yippee. In 1993 I was a committee member of TANZ [Ten-eigthy Action NZ] . We took the HBRC to the high court [which only cost $20,000] & got an interim injunction stopping the complete blitz of the Kaweka range with this sh*t.

    A moderated settlement involved the area being split into 2 areas. One for us to ground trap & the other for their planned genocidal aerial bomdardment of 1080 poison.

    Not only were the ground trapping kills far greater than the aerial drop – the team killed nothing else and counted all the Kiwi in the area. My job was to monitor the aerial drop [ an area not accessible for ground control – must have been an officer worker with one leg who decided 'inaccessible!]. Anyway I found area's not covered with bait and areas where it looked like it had been spread from the back of a truck – well almost-everythings relative!.

    I took much pleasure in delivering the excess amount back to the Regional Council [front door] for re-use [recycling has just come in]. I was not Sorry that it was 5am and no one was at work.

    Anyway it was at this time we made a proposal to a few organisations to teach youth [who would now be candidates for J.Key's boot camps] how to trap opossums, live in the ngahere learn survival skills etc.

    Then to export the fur to the USA for use with our locally produced Marino wool into TOM" SOCKS !

    It never flew!!!

    But great to see almost 15 years later something positive is happening.


    ps If anyone had seen how a opposum dies with a belly ful of 1080 [o and other things too -e.g half the Robin population after one 'mismanaged drop] you would be disgusted with what cruelty man can deal to our fellow inhabitants of the planet.

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