The development of the Landcare Research Project was carried out in 2014.

• Pest management is vital to New Zealand because it is key to protecting our native biodiversity and our economy. Typically, pest management agencies decide when, where, and how to do pest management, and often local communities have little opportunity to contribute to the decision-making process. This lack of engagement opportunities sometimes results in community dissatisfaction with pest management plans and lack of support for their implementation. Consequently, there is a need to improve the public engagement processes so that community members can participate in pest control decision making, and help with developing management plans that are more acceptable to them. Landcare Research staff are conducting social research to better understand how communities want to contribute to pest control decision making through a series of case studies across New Zealand. One of these case studies is the Mahia Peninsula; where the research team has conducted eleven semi-structured interviews with diverse community members to discuss people’s values associated with the land, and how pests and pest management in the area may affect those values. The outcome of this first step is to provide the Hawkes Bay Regional Council and the Mahia community with some options for initiating a more participatory process for discussing any potential future pest management on the peninsula.

Landcare Research report