Join the hunt for Chilean needle grass

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Join the hunt for Chilean needle grass

Over the last decade Chilean needle grass has been spreading in Marlborough and more help is needed to reduce its impact.

The pest plant is flowering now and easy to spot. Over the next few months Council staff and contractors will be doing control work in known infestation areas.

Council Biosecurity Manager, Jono Underwood, says everyone can help by being aware of the risk posed by the grass and being alert to its presence.

“Between now and the end of summer needle grass seeds can easily hitch a ride, especially if you’re moving soil. If you’re in an infested area it’s really important to be aware of the risk and the regulations which apply.”

If you think you’ve seen Chilean needle grass, please take a photo of it, record the location and email Council at

The South American pest was first discovered in Marlborough in the 1940s. It invades dryland pastures and can be carried on sheep's wool, on machinery and in clothing. Its sharp seeds can penetrate deeply, causing blindness, deafness and abscesses in sheep.

More information on Chilean needlegrass