New Zealand is a poster child for the havoc caused by weeds. Since early settlers brought them in, more than 25,000 exotics have made themselves at home. Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton is calling for the Government to lift its game. He says stopping the spread of weeds on our land has been hampered by inadequate leadership, not enough information and uncoordinated weed control. Privet and woolly night shade have overwhelmed our native bush, banana passionfruit and climbing asparagus strangle plants and trees, and gorse and wilding pines cover large swathes of countryside. The commissioner is calling for clearer direction from the government on managing weeds . He wants a weed information database; a team to work with regional councils and nip new weed threats in the bud; and the a national policy direction on how weeds should be dealt with.