David Haxton: Time to beef up check for pests

The government has a strong vested interest in the predator-free island
The government has a strong vested interest in the predator-free island

For too long the biosecurity check-in process on the mainland has been a shambles.

It's election lolly scramble time but there's nothing in the air regarding funding of a Kapiti Island biosecurity and visitor centre on the mainland at Paraparaumu Beach.

The government, via the Conservation Department, has a strong vested interest in the predator-free island as well as encouraging people nationally and internationally to visit it.

For too long the biosecurity check-in process on the mainland has been a shambles.

People standing around in a carpark, sometimes in the rain, having a quick rummage through their bags for pests before hopping onto a boat, isn't good practice in my opinion.

That's no reflection on the good work the boat operators are doing just the stark reality regarding the lack of a proper check-in facility.

There needs to be a better check-in system to ensure possum, mice, rats, stoats, even Argentine ants, don't get a lift over the 5km stretch of water.

There has been plenty of talk over the years but nothing has eventuated.

Now a small group of students from Victoria University have been designing options for a biosecurity hub/visitor centre as part of their studies.

Kapiti Mayor K Gurunathan has commended the students on their work-in-progress, not to mention blue-sky thinking, but emphasised outside investment was needed and the continuation of options needed to be explored.

Hopefully DOC will one day decide to front-foot some sort of biosecurity hub and some private investment comes onboard for a visitor centre.

The island we see every day is an island of national significance.

- Kapiti News

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 23 Sep 2017 15:40:00 Processing Time: 632ms