If you agree.

The Regional Council is consulting about possum control (i.e., killing them more efficiently … let’s cut to the chase).

HBRC proposes to shift the possum control programme from land occupier responsibility to council-led control using contractors.

Here’s a video explanation.

HBRC chief executive James Palmer says the possum control programme is a significant regional pest control programme.

“The main aim of the programme is to boost biodiversity, support native bird life and bush to thrive, and support the work of Ospri in preventing the spread of bovine tuberculosis.”

So, environmental, animal welfare and economic benefits.

For landowners in the current possum control scheme, council analysis suggests around half of the landowners do little to no control — which is unfair to those who do their part (and gives the critters a chance to fight back) — and it is proposed that a contractor programme would be more effective.

Under the proposed changes, Council spending would increase to $3.5 million and the majority of costs would be met by the general ratepayer. This means both rural and urban ratepayers would fund possum control giving everyone benefits from better biodiversity. Funding decisions would be made separately, following community consultation in the 2024-2034 Long Term Plan.

The possum control consultation runs between 1-31 July. 

You can have your say by going to hbrc.govt.nz, search: #consultation.

Join the Conversation


  1. Really concerned about possum control in my area. We have peacocks, turkeys and many quail as well as our free ranging chicken who roost up in one of our stands of trees.
    How will this possum control just target the possums? I saw the plane doing the drop and it seemed like it was all over the place and not sticking to the tree’d areas?! It was also pretty windy.
    It’s a worry.

  2. I agree with everything in this article, but I do think room needs to be left for landowner involvement, and an equitable way for that to be done needs to be found. To impose a scheme on landowners is not the only way to do it – you want to bring people voluntarily with you on the journey. Kia kaha to the HBRC for raising this important topic again, but let’s also not forget the other predators of birds – stoats, rats and feral cats. Just possums isn’t going to do it.

  3. I am so pleased to see something concrete being undertaken in this area – thanks HBRC, because to be effective everyone needs to be involved. I have lived in the Otamauri area for 12 years and no opossum was seen or heard of except for the last 3 and they appear to be coming back fast. Like disease, much easier to deal with a few than a epidemic and look forward to being involved.

  4. Good to see the proposal for a widespread contract to deal with possums. Unfortunately trusting voluntary participation in control does NOT work. People in town catch and release into the country (not all). We live at the base of the Hill and have commercial rat catcher on our property still regularly catching large rats. Have also noticed increases in wasp numbers. Ex dairy farmer so very aware of need for good systems.

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