Melanie Newfield from Wellington and Carolyn Lewis from Hamilton are the new faces of weeds public awareness, following the recent resignation of Weedbusters national co-ordinator Amber Bill.
Amber has moved to the Wellington City Council as Senior Park Ranger where she remains involved in weed issues.
Melanie and Carolyn will look after DOC’s weeds awareness and Weedbusters respectively, at least for a few months until the position is advertised and filled.
Senior Technical Support Officer Keith Briden said the Department of Conservation’s weed awareness had gone ahead in leaps and bounds over the last two years since the coordinator position was created.
“We are now starting to see some great pay-backs for our efforts with weed management.
“We are delighted with how far weeds awareness has come in the short time since the inception of the Weedbusters programme, and we are looking forward to seeing it continue to grow.”
Mr Briden said both Melanie and Carolyn had been working with Weedbusters, and were liaising with Amber, to ensure a smooth transition.
Carolyn Lewis has been contracted to Environment Waikato since 1992, carrying out surveillance and monitoring in both rural and urban areas; undertaking awareness programmes and working with communities with weed issues.
She has been the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute representative on the national Weedbusters Management Committee since its inception, and has recently been helping to get Weedbusters up and going in the Waikato region. She already produces the quarterly colour Weedbusters newsletter that goes out to all stakeholders and supporting organisations.
Melanie, a weed ecologist, has worked with DOC since 1998 following three years with Landcare Research in Christchurch.
She has worked on a wide range of weed-related activities, surveillance, control and monitoring, and public awareness work.
For all DOC weeds awareness queries (including Conservancy Weedbusters Local Initiative projects), contact Melanie Newfield at DOC, RD&I Wellington (firstname.lastname@example.org) ph. 04 495 8608, fax 04 471 3279.
For all Weedbusters queries, contact Carolyn Lewis at Pest Plant Advisory Services Ltd. Hamilton Email: email@example.com ph. 0274 434 431 or 07 855 6463; fax 07 855 6467.