$1.87 million to fight Canterbury wildings

  • Nathan Guy
Primary Industries

A funding boost of $1.87 million will help tackle wilding conifers in central Canterbury, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.

The additional funding from Budget 2016 will used to control the spread of wildings in Craigieburn ($1,641,600) and Porters ($227,064) and protect the adjoining Arthur’s Pass National Park.

“Both of these areas are under threat from the spread of wilding conifers which infest farmland and natural wilderness areas,” says Mr Guy, who made the announcement at the Canterbury A&P show today.

“They now cover more than 1.8 million hectares of land throughout New Zealand and this number is growing every year. It is much better to tackle this pest now before the cost of eradication rises even further.

“In this year’s Budget the Government committed an additional $16 million to wilding control over the next four years because of the threat they pose to our ecosystems, land and farms."

The Craigieburn area covers 53,750 hectares and the adjacent Porters area covers 189,630 hectares.

The new Crown funding for these areas is supported by significant investment from community trusts, private land occupiers, Department of Conservation and Environment Canterbury.

The Budget 2016 funding builds on an existing estimated nationwide control spend of over $11 million each year.

The Right Tree in the Right Place: The New Zealand Wilding Conifer Management Strategy provides a framework for central government, local government, forestry and farming industries, landowners, researchers and communities to work together to reduce the negative impacts of wildings

Prevention is the best form of management. Removing young seedlings now, before they start producing seeds, costs less than $10 per hectare, but removing mature trees can cost over $10,000 per hectare.