Pest Plants: Recognise, Report, Remove, Restore

Moth Plant, Wild Ginger, Woolly Nightshade, Climbing Asparagus and other pest plants are invading Kaipātiki! If left to grow they smother native bush, take over back yards and de-stabilise our native ecology. They can also harbour rats and some can be a health issue for us. Are these pest weeds taking over your backyard or neighbourhood?  It’s time to flush 'em out! 

Have you seen these pest plants?


  • Recognise pest plants using the iNaturalist app or the Forest & Bird Weed Control Guide 

  • Report pest plants sites using the EcoTrack app – Read our User guide 

  • Remove pest plants 

    • Follow best practice outlined in the  Forest & Bird Weed Control Guide 

    • Borrow tools or herbicide gels from us at the PFK Toolshed

    • Volunteer to help with weed control education in your street

    • Talk to your neighbours about getting a team together to clear your street of moth plant, wild ginger, woolly nightshade, climbing asparagus, madeira vine, blue morning glory, privet, honeysuckle and other pest plants

    • Dispose of pods and seed heads in our community pest plant disposal bins

    • Join others - click on the green "Volunteer" button below

  • Restore native biodiversity by planting native plants in your backyard, your workplace or school or by joining a restoration group​

Health & Safety

Before beginning pest plant control activity, please read our Health & Safety during Weed Control guide. This will ensure that you, your family, pets and environment stay safe and healthy. If you have any questions contact us.


If you want more details than are available in the Forest & Bird Weed Control Guide, download the fact sheets below to learn how to remove these pest plants safely and effectively, so they won't seed in or resprout next year.

Moth Plant (Araujia hortorum)

aka Moth Vine or Cruel Plant

Wild Ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum)

aka Kahili Ginger

Moth Plant advice in Chinese? 

If you have neighbours who'd welcome some moth plant information in Chinese, click here for the Auckland Council brochure Moth plant brochure in CHINESE

Council also has a range of weed brochures in Chinese - ask at your local library.


At regular intervals, there will be FREE DISPOSAL BINS in handy locations throughout Kaipātiki, for you to drop off and dispose of any part of the following environmental weeds which may regrow:

Moth Plant - pods/seeds (keep in bags), roots

Climbing asparagus vine - roots, or whole plant (if seeds present) 

Wild Ginger - seed and flower heads, rhizomes and roots

Madeira Vine - aerial nodules/flowers/seeds (keep in bags), roots

Woolly Nightshade, Privet, Acmena and Loquat - fruit and seeds

For details of the bin locations and what weed parts you can leave there, please see: PFK Community Pest Plant Disposal Bins - Location and weeds accepted 

See PFK on Facebook for updates and Events page for community activities.


Create a login to the EcoTrack app and start reporting ANY sites with Moth Plant, Wild Ginger, Woolly Nightshade (or Madeira Vine or Climbing Asparagus) in the Kaipātiki Local Board area, using your android or iphone:

 For more info: PFK User Guide to reporting weeds in the EcoTrack app 

For help and support email

Why use an app? Reporting moth plant , woolly nightshade and wild ginger in your neighbourhood - on public or private land - will enable our team to

  • map the spread of these weeds in Kaipātiki

  • deliver information to local residents 

  • help manage and allocate weed work to our volunteer hit squad and contractors

  • help alert authorities and companies to weed issues that need tackling

Note - you can also report other environmental weeds using the app

What is the Auckland "Regional Pest Management Plan" (RPMP)?

The new RPMP is due out early 2020. It includes rules about all sorts of pests - animals, plants and pathogens. It is written within the context of the Biosecurity Act and takes into account the Good Neighbour rules. 

The 2020 RPMP will introduce a new approach to controlling environmental weeds in buffer zones around high value reserves. It has selected Pest Free Kaipātiki to work with it to develop a community led education and encouragement approach to controlling the weeds which do the most damage to ecological reserves. From January 2020, we are keen to hear from volunteers who can help with this weed campaign in their area.

How can I do more to help control pest plants?

How do I become a street champion or join a pest plant Hit Squad?

Click on the Volunteer button

and fill in your details.


Tick one or more of the boxes saying you'd like to:

  • coordinate a halo group | join the pest plant control campaign | help with a pest plant hit squad. 

Give more details in "Other areas of interest".

Want to help with pest plant hit squads or weeding bees?

Go to this page: Where and when are pest plant hit squads and working bees held

How does the Pest Plant Campaign help with wider environmental issues?

  • Environmental weeds destroy biodiversity by smothering native and food-producing plants

  • They suppress native regeneration - meaning that the ecology under old trees gradually dies out

  • Our pest control programmes complement native restoration and tree planting programmes

  • Some environmental weeds have adverse health effects - eg moth plant, woolly nightshade, privet

  • Controllling environmental weeds is a step in making for a healthier neighbourhood and planet


Our Pest Plant campaign is supported by the Kaipātiki Local Board, Pest Free Auckland and the Birkenhead Licensing Trust. The 2018 PFK Pest Plant campaign and the EcoTrack weed app were supported by funding from DOC.  The EcoTrack app is supported by the volunteer-led social enterprise EcoEngage.NZ  - more volunteers with relevant skills are welcomed.

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We would like to acknowledge the generosity of all our supporters and stakeholders, but most especially:

The Regional Environment and

Natural Heritage Grant Programme

© Pest Free Kaipātiki 2018

Street address: 36 Kauri Road, Birkenhead, Auckland, NZ |

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