Wilding pine control activity ramped up

Friday 11 Sep 2020

 
A nationwide plan to tackle more than 800,000 hectares of wilding pine infestations over the next year will generate up to 550 new jobs and help prevent future wild fires, say’s New Zealand’s Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare.

“We're ramping up our wilding control activity in areas where jobs are needed most,” Damien O’Connor said. “Budget 2020 included NZ$100 million for wilding pine control through the Jobs for Nature programme. Over NZ$36 million of that funding will be spent in the next 12 months as part of our four-year programme. That extends our work from 19 to 58 sites across New Zealand."

Minister O’Connor says this includes a range of long-term projects led by regional councils, and smaller-scale community partnerships. “We’ll see significant work throughout most of New Zealand – in Northland, across the Central North Island, in Marlborough, Nelson/Tasman, Queenstown, Otago and Southland.”

"More than NZ$17 million of work is allocated over 400,000 hectares of wilding infestations in Canterbury alone, including extensive infestations in Craigieburn and the Mackenzie.”

“In many areas, like Queenstown and the Mackenzie basin, we’ll be removing longstanding infestations that have become a familiar part of the landscape. People are inclined to think any tree has some value. But the recent fires near Lake Pukaki, only a few years after the devastating fires in Flock Hill, have shown that wilding pines threaten the ecosystem, the economy – and the community”.

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