Central Kaweka aerial operation postpones

Information has been released on the status and next steps for the proposed Central Kaweka aerial operation that was discussed in March of this year with the Department of Conservation and representatives from local hunting liaison groups.

The operation was initially planned for commencement during winter of 2018, however in context of a range of TBfree programme operational decisions and priorities, OSPRI now determined this operation will be postponed.

The decision to postpone (this operation) is due to a number of factors:

  • Reprioritisation of TBfree programme resources to ensure the first strategic objective (TB freedom in livestock by 2026) is met – this means other areas have taken priority for TB operations and control for the 2018 year.
  • The ability to capture the required epidemiological benefits for the TBfree Plan by possibly combining the previously proposed Central Kaweka operation with the proposed Northern Kaweka operation into a single control operation. This will minimise impact on land-users and owners and consolidate the operation to a complete Central North Island TB eradication plan, which can be conducted simultaneously to achieve TB eradication targets.
  • The need to complete further investigation into deer repellent applications for proposed operations for mitigating deer by-kill risk in the Kaweka area.
  • Enabling wider and longer term investigation as part of the current TB sentinel surveillance programme (deer and pigs) to support the design of the possum control programme for the region.

Therefore, the Kaweka operation will not proceed in 2018 as formerly proposed. Details on the proposal to consolidate both Central and Northern Kaweka operations and consider these for operational application in coming years will be summarised in the OPSRI National Consultation Document, scheduled for release in August this year.

When the operation is redesigned and proposed in the future, further dedicated consultation in the region will also occur.