Pest and Predator Free

Pest plants and predators are two of the biggest threats to native biodiversity, and caring for our ecosystems by weeding and controlling predators can ensure our native species have a chance to survive – and thrive. 

Our Pest and Predator Free Team’s projects support residents close to the Waitākere Ranges to protect the native bush we all love, so it can flourish for generations to come. 

Interested in weed removal initiatives around our suburban streams? Check out Healthy Waters and Community.

Remove pest plants 

Use our Seedling Field Guides to ID pest plants

The EcoMatters Seedling Field Guides for Native Plants and Pest Plants can help you identify the self-seeded plants that spring up in your garden or bush section, so you can decide whether to let them stay or go. These are available from the EcoMatters Store.

Receive support through the Buffers Project

The Buffers Project (also known as the Buffer Zone) is about creating weed free buffer areas to protect our precious Waitākere Ranges Regional Park. We are one of several organisations collaborating on the Buffers Project, and our team provides assistance with controlling target weeds in Laingholm, Parker Road, Waiatarua, Opanuku Road/Scenic Drive, Mountain Road/Tūranga Road and Inland Karekare, in properties adjacent to or close to the regional park.

Some of this work is on highly challenging terrain with massive weed issues, and we enjoy connecting with locals and providing support with what can be a daunting task. We work with property owners to come up with a plan of control that suits them, and we’re often also able to provide support with replanting natives to fill the gaps left after weed removal.

If you live in Piha, Huia, Cornwallis and Coastal Karekare areas, we can also put you in touch with the organisation working in your area. To find out more, email [email protected].

Supported by the Waitākere Ranges Local Board.

Take precautions with kauri dieback

Please follow kauri dieback protocols and refrain from removing weeds from around the roots of kauri trees.

Replace weeds with native plants

We have more than 30 species of native plants that are suitable for revegetation projects available for purchase at our community nursery.

Dispose of weeds 

Use the community weed bins

If you live in the Waitākere Ranges Local Board area, you can dispose of target invasive weeds free of charge at the fully-funded community weed bins throughout the year. You can also connect with our Pest and Predator Free team, who are available onsite on Weed Bin Weekends to provide weed advice. Find out more at Weed Bins.

Supported by the Waitākere Ranges Local Board and Auckland Council.

Compost some weeds at home

Research is ongoing, but we know that some parts of some pest plants can be safely composted at home without risking further spread. This is an environmentally-friendly way to get rid of pest plants while keeping soil matter onsite, which is in line with kauri dieback recommendations. 

The leaves and stems of wild ginger can be left to break down in the bush on your property, as these don’t contain any parts that spread. 

Water barrels can be used to rot some parts of pest plants such as climbing asparagus tubers, rhizomes and seeds, and wild ginger seedlings and rhizomes. 

EcoMatters’ locally-made weed bags are a great way to compost soft weeds that can otherwise spread, such as Tradescantia, Plectranthus or African Clubmoss. These are available from the EcoMatters Store.

We’re looking forward to new research emerging in the area of composting invasive weeds, as well as the pathogens associated with the spread of kauri dieback.

Control predators

Introduced predators such as rats, possums and stoats are a massive threat to native ecosystems. If you’d like to start trapping predators on your property, you can purchase a rat trap or hire a possum trap at the EcoMatters Store

We also recommend connecting with your pest free neighbourhood group. Find out who’s working in your area at Tiaki Tāmaki Makaurau.

grants for local nature projects

Planning a local environmental project in the Henderson-Massey, Maungakiekie-Tāmaki, Whau or Waitākere Ranges local board area? Your group could be eligible for a $500 grant. The Love Your Neighbourhood grant is available for environmental and volunteer-driven initiatives. Find out more about all our grants here.


Check our Worst Weeds Watchlist for the top pest plants to keep at bay, so native plants and birds can flourish.

Visit Tiaki Tāmaki Makaurau for more information about conservation projects right across Auckland.

Use the Auckland Council pest search to help identify pest plants and animals and for guidance on how to deal with them.

Check out Native To The West, a guide for planting and restoring the nature of the Waitākere area.

Kia ora and thanks to

Thank you to Auckland Council, and Henderson-Massey and Waitākere Ranges local boards for supporting the work of our Pest and Predator Free team.