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Ivy infestation rankles resident

Masterton resident David Waltham has a perplexing problem with an ivy infestation around his property.

The ivy has infiltrated large parts of his house and garden, as well as neighbouring properties, and he can’t deal with it.

“I am 88 years old with low eyesight; I’m basically blind, as well as the fact that I can’t walk very far,” Waltham said.

“I can’t go around and deal with it myself so I will need someone to do it for me.”

Waltham called Greater Wellington Regional Council [GWRC] in the hope it would clear the ivy out but although a council representative did come to inspect the issue, “she advised me to go to the hardware store and buy some spray”.

“They said it’s not their problem, and as far as they are concerned, they are only to advise you,” Waltham said.

In response to a query from the Times-Age, GWRC confirmed a representative had been sent to Waltham’s property, and also provided some advice on removing ivy.

“GWRC supports the public removing pest plants from their backyard. Information on controlling specific pest plants most effectively can be found on our website [www.gw.govt.nz],” a spokesperson said.

“For English ivy, we recommend physically removing the entire plant [including roots] and disposing of it at a transfer station, or cutting close to the ground and immediately treating the stump with an appropriate herbicide gel.”

Waltham said that since he cannot resolve the issue himself, he will need to budget for some spray and find someone to come and clear it.

He jokingly noted that, in the meantime, he feels a strong need to keep moving when he’s in his garden, lest he become overgrown by the fast-growing plant pest that can climb as high as 30m.

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