Do you have this pest plant in your backyard?


Pest plants, such as wild ginger and moth plant, are invading Auckland’s North Shore – your gardens and your nearby bush reserves. Controlling them when they are small is easy and cheap. If they are left to grow, they can spread across your property onto your neighbours’ gardens and to nearby reserves.

Auckland Council has recently introduced new rules that require people in some areas to remove some pest plants from their property, in order to protect our native biodiversity.

Wild ginger, also known as Kahili ginger, grows up to two metres tall with large wax-covered leaves. It forms dense, long-lived clumps that shade out the understorey and prevent growth of native seedlings and forest regeneration. It has red and yellow flowers that can produce hundreds of seeds.

Take action as soon as possible:

  • Report the weed using the app.
  • Hand pull small seedlings, but only if you can remove all root fragments, as they will regrow if left.
  • For medium to large plants, use a pruning saw to cut the stem close to the ground. Aim to make the cut level (so that the herbicide can have the best contact with the freshly cut stump). Apply a thin film of MetGel onto the stump. A thin film is all you need to prevent regrowth.
  • Follow up in three months to ensure all wild ginger plants have died.
  • Dispose of any seeds, rhizomes and roots in your rubbish bin to go to landfill, securely tied inside a plastic bag - to stop it spreading to other areas. Alternatively, they can be put inside a barrel of water (lid on) and will rot down within 1-2 years. Leaves and stems make a good mulch and can be left to rot down on site.
  • Stop pest plants invading again by replanting with non-pest plants (preferably native plants) once regrowth is no longer a problem.
  • Talk to your neighbours and encourage them to take action too!
  • For more information and guides on weed control, visit
  • Download the Forest and Bird weed control guide at

There are several environmental networks across Auckland’s North Shore that support communities to recognise, report and remove pest plants and restore our native wildlife.

East Coast Bays and Hibiscus Coast

Restore Hibiscus & Bays 


Pest Free Kaipātiki (PFK)


Pupuke Birdsong Project

Devonport Peninsula

Restoring Takarunga Hauraki

Upper Harbour

Upper Harbour Ecology Network (UHEN)

For advice on a chemical-free approach

Kaipātiki Project


This Pest Plant of the Month feature is a collaborative initiative between Restore Hibiscus & Bays, Pest Free Kaipātiki Restoration Society, Pupuke Birdsong Project, Restoring Takarunga Hauraki, the Upper Harbour Ecological Network and Kaipātiki Project. Building on Te Ao Māori principles of kaitiakitanga and whanaungatanga, these environmental networks bring our communities together to foster guardianship, care and respect towards our whenua, natural world and indigenous wildlife.