Pest Management

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Hamilton City Council’s Parks and Open Spaces Unit is responsible for the management of Hamilton’s 200 parks and open spaces.

A crucial part of the unit’s role is the control of pest animal species such as rats, possums, mice and rabbits.

The work is undertaken in collaboration with Waikato Regional Council and focuses on protecting Hamilton’s green spaces, particularly those with ecological significance.

This work is undertaken by a private contractor working on behalf of Council, to a specific schedule which encompasses a range of parks on either a regular or as-needed basis.

From 16 January, a new programme of pest control will commence. The programme will see intensive pest control undertaken in selected parks for a three-month period. This programme will see a particular focus on significant natural areas;

Current operations - Hamilton West parks (January - March 2020​)​

​Edgecumbe Park
​Fitzroy Park*
​Graham Park
​Hamilton Lake Domain*
​Hammond Park​
​Hinemoa Park
Mooney Park*
​Pukete Farm Park*
​Pukete Park*
Sandford Park*
Smyth's Plantation
​Te Anau Park
​Totara Park
​Waiwhakareke Heritage Park
​Ward Park
* Large parks including dog exercise areas or playgrounds. Pest control will be undertaken in the margins of these parks, however it will be well away fro​​m off-lead exercise areas and playgrounds.

We also have current pest management operations at the Yacht club/Inns common for rabbits. These have clear signage and are fenced off. ​

The primary tools for pest management are bait stations and traps, and are site-specific depending on the pest species identified and the community’s use of the parks. 

Although the Council’s contractors place traps and bait stations in areas of parks which are not generally high use or readily accessed by the public, residents who use these parks are strongly advised to keep themselves, their children and any pet animals under close supervision.  The pest control work is closely monitored and Council’s contractor uses methods which are sensitive to the use and popularity of the parks. Parks where pest control is underway will feature clear signage which identifies the type of bait or trap in use.

It’s important members of the public – particularly dog owners and parents with small and/or inquisitive children – are aware of what these traps and bait stations look like.

The traps and bait stations used in our parks are pictured below.​


New Zealand Biosecurity Services has specific methods for controlling pests in Hamilton’s parks and natural environments.

The company uses lower residual baits for riparian margins – for example along the Waikato River and the city’s various gully walkways - and bush areas to ensure the safety of pets, park users and native birds of prey. The company’s operations target significant natural areas prior to the native birds breeding season to ensure these bird species have a best chance of breeding / nesting.​

The work enhances broader cross-organisational efforts to protect and enhance Hamilton’s biodiversity, and increasing the presence of native species in our city.

The program has been initiated in significant natural areas sector (see earlier list of parks), and over the course of the year, the focus of pest control operations will change. The bait stations and traps will be moved from one group of parks to another. 

Future operations

​Riverside Parks
April 2020 to June 2020
Hamilton East
July 2020 to September 2020​​
​​Significant Areas
October 2020 to December 2020
​​Braithwaite Park*
AJ Seeley Reserve​
​​AJ Seeley Reserve
​Bremworth Park​​Chelmsford Park*​​Chelmsford Park*
​Fairfield Esplanade​Donny Park*​​​Donny Park* ​
​Featherstone Park​Hammond Park*​​Edgecumbe Park
​Ferry Bank​Hillary Park*​
Fairfield Esplanade
​Hamilton Parade*​​Hillcrest Park*​​​Featherstone Park
​Hammond Park*
​​Jubilee Park​​Hamilton Lake Domain*
​Hayes Paddock*​Mangaiti Park
​Hammond Park
​Kirikiriroa Reserve​Onukutara Park​​​​​Hillcrest Park*
​Matakanohi Reserve​​Ranfurly Park*​​Jubilee Park
​​Memorial Park​Tauhara Park*​Mangaiti Park
​Miropiko Reserve​​Te Awa O Katapaki Esplanade*​​​​​Matakanohi Reserve
​Munro's Walkway
​Miropiko Reserve
​New Memorial Park

Munro's Walkway
​Parana Park*
Mooney Park*​
​​Pine Beach
​​Onukutara Park
​Swarbricks Landing
​Pukete Farm Park*
​Sylvester Esplanade​
​​Ranfurly Park*
​Te Hikuwai Reserve
​​Tauhara Park*
​Queenwood Esplanade
​​Te Anu Park
​Yendell Park​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Te Awa o Katapaki Esplanade*

​Totara Park

​​Queenwood Esplanade

​Waiwhakareke Heritage Park​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Find out more information about the regional approach to pest control here​

Pigeon control operations

Feral pigeons are an ongoing problem at Hamilton Lake Domain, where the birds roost in the large Phoenix palm trees which line the eastern side of Lake Rotoroa.

The pigeons' faeces are a particular problem, soiling footpaths and other park assets and creating a hygiene risk for park users.

If we didn't control the feral pigeon population, we would have a very large population of the birds doing more damage to our assets.  We also have an obligation under Regional Pest Management Strategy to control pest animal species such as pigeons.

We contract an experienced pest control company to do this work for us. The company employs experienced professional marksmen who cull the birds using high-powered air-rifles.

When these operations are underway at night, we close the park to the public and have staff on-site, and part of our process is an immediate site clean-up pre-dawn.

Before any pigeon control operation, we notify neighbouring residents via letter drop, and we also place signage in the park in the days immediately before so we can alert park users.

The pigeon control operations are scheduled for two weeks, but the work will only occur on two-three of those nights – and is weather dependent.

Pest control operations – Wasps​

​Between January and April 2017, the Council's pest control contractor will undertake isolated control of wasp nests confirmed on our parks and reserves with the use of Vespex.

Vespex is a protein-based poison containing Fipronil which wasps feed on and transfer back to their nest. The poison is distributed throughout the colony which quickly destroys the nest. Bees are not attracted to Vespex and it is considered low risk to birds, people and pets.

Vespex is placed in yellow bait stations attached to trees in inconspicuous locations. Signs will be erected in areas when Vespex is in use.

Pest control operations are permitted under The Reserves Act 1977 and are a fundamental part of the Council's park management.

If you would like more information, please contact Parks and Open Spaces 07 838 6622.

Page reviewed: 16 Jul 2021 8:17am