How can I help?

We need your help to achieve our goals.  Sign up to join one of our many community volunteer groups across the city. 

Look out for pest and remove them! 

Keep an eye out for pest plants spreading out of control, if you see any weeds included in the eradication or progressive containment programs in the Regional Pest Management Plan report it to Waikato Regional Council or Antenno

Report weeds to Waikato Regional Council

Download Antenno

Check you property for signs of pest animals and if you think you may have some, backyard trapping is a great way to help keep predator numbers down.

Visit Predator Free Hamilton for more information.  

Top 10 weeds to look out for in the city

  1. Ivy
  2. Japanese honeysuckle
  3. Morning glory and convolvulus
  4. Jasmine
  5. Moth plant – if found report to Waikato Regional Council  or Antenno
  6. Alligator weed – if found report to Waikato Regional Council or Antenno
  7. Yellow flag iris – if found report to Waikato Regional Council or Antenno
  8. Tradescantia/wandering willy
  9. Privet – tree privet, small leaf privet
  10. Woolly nightshade

For help identifying weeds use the iNaturalist app.

Top Trapping Tips

  • Leave new traps baited but not set to overcome animal aversion to new things.
  • Place traps on tracks and trees where animals are likely to travel.
  • Blend some blaze (4 parts flour, 1 part icing sugar along with cinnamon, vanilla or curry powder) to create scent trails leading towards traps.
  • Scuff the ground in front of traps to expose bugs and new scents.
  • Vary the baits seasonally and only use eggs during spring when they are naturally available in the environment.
  • Check your traps and refresh bait often to maximise catches.
  • Record your catch and add the information to
  • To see how much you might be missing with pest control put out chew cards or wax tags.

Visit Predator Free Hamilton for trapping tutorials and tips.

Pest plants

We are trying to restore Nature in the City by increasing native vegetation cover from less than 2% to 10% by 2050. That is hundreds of thousands of plants across more than 1000 hectares to be restored. One of the main challenges to achieving that goal is the presence and spread of transformational weeds – those with the potential to suffocate and outcompete our native plants.  

Vines like ivy and moth plant have the potential to smother plants and collapse forest canopies while weeds like tradescantia blanket the ground and prevent native species from regenerating. Alligator weed and yellow flag iris can block waterways and change flow pathways. Privet and woolly nightshade produce masses of seeds that help them spread prolifically through the city and outcompete native plants.

For help identifying weeds use the iNaturalist app.

For more information on weeds and control methods see Waikato Regional Council and Weedbusters

Pest animals

Before the arrival of humans, the only native land mammals in New Zealand were three species of bats. New Zealand was primarily a land of birds, small lizards and invertebrates. Our native species evolved without mammalian predators, making them especially vulnerable when these animals arrived.

Possums, rats, mice, hedgehogs, stoats, and weasels prey on native invertebrates and reduce the breeding success of native birds and bats by eating adults, eggs and young. Possum browsing can cause considerable damage to plants; possums, rats and mice also destroy seed. Control of these non-native animals in an urban setting needs special care and attention as there are potential hazards for pets and young children. Predator control is very important for realising a fully-restored ecosystem. Consult experts or our gully restoration team before you start.

Visit Predator Free Hamilton, Predator Free NZ and DOC for trapping tutorials and tips.

What are we doing?

Working with private landowners

50% of gullies in Hamilton are privately owned, private owners can play an important role in gully restoration. 

We work with gully owners to undertake restoration projects, provide support and resources including native plants. 

Contact our community restoration advisor

Council Responsibilities

Our Natural Area rangers, Gully Restoration Advisors, iwi and community groups undertake weed control and restoration across the city.

With limited resources, our Natural Area Rangers focus their efforts on restoring the best areas first to ensure their long-term resilience and work outwards from there.

One of the other main priorities is to control weeds included in the eradication and progressive containment programs of the Waikato Regional Council Pest Management Plan.

Our goal

The Nature in the City Strategy 2020 - 2050 sets the goal of increasing native vegetation cover in Hamilton from 2% to 10% by 2050.

We are also working to ‘join up’ natural areas in Hamilton – for example by supporting community groups to restore gullies.

Related pages

Agrichemicals and spraying

Find out what’s in the agrichemicals we use, and what to do if you’re concerned about exposure.

Nature in the City

Restoring nature has never been so important. That's why we're investing into it more than we ever have. We need to…

Volunteer to restore nature

Restoration work can include planting, weeding, preparing land and mulching.

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Last updated 10 March 2023