Porirua conservationists tackle destructive weed taking over reserves

A group of conservationists in Porirua is tackling a destructive weed that's taking over the city's reserves.

Known as climbing asparagus, the fast-growing weed is destroying some of Wellington's natural areas.

It might not look like much, but the weed is killing our forests.

"Climbing asparagus is a very invasive weed that we have been finding in all of the reserves in Porirua," Porirua biodiversity ranger Summer Gleeson said.

Gleeson leads a team of conservationists trying to eradicate the fast-growing weed in Porirua, which smothers plants and trees.

"Basically it takes over the forest, it climbs up our trees and once it reaches the light it just spreads everywhere," Gleeson said.

While it's a nationwide problem Porirua is one of the few city's trying to get on top of it. Though the team admits there's no quick fix.

"It's a massive job dealing with climbing asparagus. When you've got an infestation like this it can mean five-10 years of work," Gleeson said.

"A lot of people have been quite pessimistic about it," conservation volunteers spokesperson Joe Murphy added.

Despite how big the issue is, that didn't put off volunteers, who've travelled from all over the world to help stop it. That includes Yanina Benton from Germany.

"I wanted to travel a bit further so I came to New Zealand to do this type of work," she told Newshub.

While climbing asparagus is actually considered a house plant, Kiwis are being urged to think twice before buying it.

"Even if you throw a piece of this weed out into the bush it may just grow back so just be careful with your green waste," Murphy said.