Otago Regional Council has overall responsibility for making sure animal, insect and plant pests don't get out of control. However property owners are ultimately responsible for pests on their own land.
Wasps are increasingly a problem in Arrowtown. The long-term solution may lie in Vespex, an ecotoxin that has been shown to reduce wasp numbers by 98 per cent.
In the meantime wasp traps are available from the Arrowtown post office. Residents can do their bit by killing the much larger queens when they emerge in spring to start nest building. If you find an active nest over summer, former AVA chair Russell Heckler is happy to come around and kill it for free using poison supplied by QLDC.
Russell Heckler 03 442 0204
Rabbits are the number one pest in Otago, damaging the landscape, destroying gardens and eating pasture. As a property owner, you’re responsible for rabbit management on your land. It is unlikely to be a huge issue if you live on a 500 square metre section in downtown Arrowtown, but if you have a rural property, that's a different story.
In 2018 Otago Regional Council took action to reduce out-of-control numbers by releasing the K5 rabbit virus at 100 or so sites in Otago, including one near Arrowtown. This is expected to reduce the rabbit population by over 40 per cent, but property owners will still need to do their own control work.
Pet rabbits should be safe from the K5 virus as long as their vaccinations are up-to-date.