War on Weeds for Conservation Week

Department of Conservation —  13/09/2016

Help us in the ‘War on Weeds‘ by taking part in a new competition launched especially for Conservation Week. Come join the team and be in to win a prize!


Invasive weeds are destroying New Zealand’s unique native plant species.

This invasion is transforming the natural landscapes that make New Zealand special. They choke our forests and waterways, restrict habitat and kill native animals that depend on those habitats.

Wilding pine trees.

The rapid invasion of wilding pine

We currently manage 350 different types of weed, spending more than $10 million a year on control efforts.

Extreme weed control methods in Kahurangi National Park.

Extreme weed control methods in Kahurangi National Park

The Dirty Dozen weeds are a handful of widespread and common weeds that can be easily identified. These weeds can be found in our own backyards, but they often jump the garden fence and escape into the surrounding environment.

Community action is needed if these weeds are to be brought under control.

Japanese honeysuckle. Photo: daveknull | CC BY-NC 2.0.

Japanese honeysuckle, one of the Dirty Dozen weeds

For Conservation Week, we have launched the Dirty Dozen Competition. We encourage you to find and photograph the Dirty Dozen weeds and share them on NatureWatchNZ – an online community of nature watchers.

To enter, go outside and locate one of the Dirty Dozen weeds growing in your own backyard or in the wild. Simply load an observation of one of the Dirty Dozen weeds to this project during Conservation Week (10 – 18 September) to be in the draw for cool prizes.

Old man's beard.

Old man’s beard, another Dirty Dozen weed

We’re aiming to increase public awareness of the threat that weeds pose to our biodiversity. We want to get everyone familiar with identifying weeds in our own backyards!

Dirty Dozen competition – Minister of Conservation

Find our more about the Dirty Dozen competition on the DOC website.

2 responses to War on Weeds for Conservation Week

  1. 
    Claudia Wiesner 18/09/2016 at 2:35 pm

    Hey yeah let’s call ourselves DOC and environmental warriors and then spraying weedkillers like roundup around like water! As if there were no effects of this at all.

  2. 
    Roger Strong 13/09/2016 at 8:50 am

    Weeds are a problem in this rural area but many farmers seem quite unconcerned. We have woolly nightshade beginning to come in and some others on the ‘dirty dozen’ list. Weeds sure do make for bad neighbours-it’s very difficult to get your neighbours to face up to their responsibilities when they seem so disinclined to actually DO anything!