Privet response as rampant as the weed
With regards to the story that the Post printed last week on the weed privet, and how Janice Hamilton has been struggling with the removal of the pesky plant that is growing on Auckland Council land,(page 11, Tuesday 7 March, Whose problem is privet anyway?), we received a quite a bit of feedback from our readers on the topic. It seems that many have the same problem with the plant, with all the responses that we received in favour of it being classed as a noxious weed. Below are some the replies that received last week. 
Letter – Regards to Noxious Weeds
I am not just concerned with the noxious weeds growing on our road sides which include privet, woolly nightshade (flannel leaf), ragwort and the moth plant vine which grows in hedges and trees.
ARC needs a Noxious Weeds Officer as they had when I was a child growing up in Franklin.
He would knock on your door and show you what noxious weed was growing on your property, ask that it be removed and revisit to make sure it had been done.
I have approached Andrew Bayly about this several times and all they can come up with is a Noxious weeds booklet that you can get if you ring ARC. What a waste of money. We need to educate people about these weeds by going to them, showing them what ragwort (or other weeds) look like and telling them how to dispose of them. These weeds are not just confined to our roadsides in Franklin, but when I visit family in Auckland they along the motorway and up driveways there as well.
Long-time resident of Franklin,
C J Bell
The Post Newspaper contacted both MP for Hunua, Andrew Bayly, and Local Board Deputy Chair, Andy Baker, for comment.
While Andrew Bayly stated that 'privet was the scourge of the earth which is unfortunately only listed as a pest plant,' he cannot recall being recently contacted with regards to it. Andy Baker also stated the last time he was contacted by a member of the public was several years ago and was in relation to Drury.
Andy stated: "With the ARC ceasing to exist in 2010, the Franklin Local Board has produced a brochure identifying our most common weeds with photographs and also how to get rid of them. They have been delivered to households and also available at council offices. I don't believe privet is actually a listed noxious weed so council's ability to force people to do anything is,sadly, very limited."
LETTER – Privet is indeed noxious 
I read with interest the article on the privet infestation at Racecourse Road Reserve. I have tried unsuccessfully with Council to discover the owner of land on Cape Hill Rd (no number but would be either 8 or 10) as the little reserve there is overrun with privet and woolly nightshade, almost reaching the footpath. Watercare have a pump house there and maintain the grass but don’t own the property. This little reserve runs down to a stream and could be very pretty but for the rampant growth of the above weeds. I strongly believe both privet and woolly nightshade should be classed as noxious. The railway-owned land around this same area is overrun with privet too.
 Maureen Andrew, Pukekohe
LETTER – Privet an eyesore
Well done Janice for her perseverance. Privet is not only an eyesore but does seem to effect some  people's health. It has no good purpose other than as a bird shelter.
I would be very happy to see it classed as noxious.
Shame on the Council for ignoring Janice's request. Surely it would have been a much cheaper job had the shrubs not been allowed to become trees.
From my observations privet has been allowed to get out of control in the Auckland region.
Both land owners and Councils should make a greater effort to rid their properties of it. It seems to me nobody wants to keep it.
Keep annoying them Janice. You can win.
A. Prouse
LETTER – In response to Privet
I am in total agreement with Janice Hamilton of Waiuku, (page 11, Tuesday 7 March, Whose problem is privet anyway?) who is hitting her head against a brick wall regarding the eradication of privet. Burn it, kill it, demolish it. Don't allow any more to be planted. 
Of course it should be a noxious weed. Ask any GP or Respiratory Specialist and see what their reply is. Thousands and thousands of patients need respiratory treatment for allergies and asthma. I am one of of thousands who dread walking or driving anywhere it grows. It is rampant in Pukekohe and throughout New Zealand. The pollen from it travels for miles with the wind. Auckland City Council please for once listen to the sufferers. The Government would save millions of dollars if they weren't funding all these medications, enabling them to invest their precious dollars in eradicating the poisonous plant. 

J Beck, Pukekohe