Alien worms need permit for Mt Cook

SAHIBAN KANWAL
Last updated 05:00 02/07/2014

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Permission is needed for tiger worms to live in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.

The Mt Cook community has not given up on the idea of a worm farm to deal with the village's food scraps, but it will take a dispensation to existing legislation to allow that to happen.

The problem is that the tiger worms are not natives.

Fourteen months ago, the Department of Conservation (DOC) built a worm farm suited to the needs of tiger worms, only to discover it was not allowed to bring introduced organisms into the national park.

It had been established a worm farm could environmentally process the 125 tonnes of food waste generated each year by businesses at Mt Cook.

However, Aoraki/Mt Cook conservation services manager Mike Davies said the project was still at the evaluation stage.

"I would like to think in six months' time we will have a clearer picture in regards to the feasibility of worm farms."

Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board support officer Shirley Slatter said more research had been done into the cost of a worm farm.

The projected costs were more than $52,000 a year, and there was still the issue of an introduced species to be overcome.

The board is legally required to provide an environmentally sustainable solid waste disposal and recycling recovery system.

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- The Timaru Herald

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