Funding boost to fight wildings in Kaimanawa

  • Louise Upston
  • Maggie Barry
Land Information Conservation

The effort to stop invasive wilding conifers from choking the Kaimanawa ranges has received a major funding boost, Land Information Minister Louise Upston and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry have announced.

“The Government is investing an additional $538,000 in control work in the Kaimanawa ranges this year, as part of the $16m it is investing nationally to control wilding conifers over the next four years,” Ms Upston says. 

“The iconic landscape of the Central Plateau is highly vulnerable to invasion by wilding conifers, which threatens ecosystems, land and vegetation.”

Wildings are enemy number one in DOC’s ongoing War on Weeds programme which seeks to get more New Zealanders involved in weed control.

“If we don’t remove the one or two trees in a hectare now, they can seed and turn into a dense forest within 15 to 20 years,” Ms Barry says.

“By doing the control work now, we’ll also save money in the future - removing young seedlings costs less than $10 per hectare, but removing mature trees can cost more than $10,000 per hectare.”

The control work in the Kaimanawa will cover more than 302,000 hectares. 

Land Information New Zealand is leading the work to improve information on wilding conifers and their management. This includes mapping the spread of infestations, enabling ongoing monitoring, planning and operational reporting, including in the Kaimanawa ranges.

The Wilding Conifer Control Programme is implemented by the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Department of Conservation and Land Information New Zealand, in partnership with other central government agencies, local government, forestry and farming industries, landowners, researchers and communities.

The Kaimanawa operation is supported with significant investment by New Zealand Defence Force, Department of Conservation and regional councils.