Date: 6th October 2023
A big thanks to Lauren Prebble from Marketellingenz in Cromwell who manages our social media. She canvassed all the political parties to get their position on wilding pines.
Hirakimata – Mount Hobson summit looking north – wild as and wilding free – Aotea Great Barrier Island Source: Jo Ritchie
Not very illuminating and it feels like although the environment is the basis of our wellbeing and economy, that it is not a high priority for most political parties. Other than climate change there has been very little discussion about how we address the current state of our biodiversity and biosecurity. Regardless we will wait and see who gets elected and how they walk the talk.
Here is what political parties had to say..
National understand the issues of wilding pine and it is something that we will address if we are fortunate to make Government.
ACT has no specific policy on wilding pines. However,:
Wilding conifers affect more than two million hectares of Aotearoa at varying densities. They reduce water yield to streams and wetlands, create a fire risk, are a major threat to farm land, ecosystems, indigenous vegetation and iconic landscapes such as the Mackenzie Basin. Without a nationally co-ordinated programme it has been estimated that 20% of New Zealand will be affected by wilding conifers within 20 years.
The Green Party strongly supports investment in wilding conifer control. The Greens pushed for a significant increase in Government funding last term. This resulted in $100 million over four years for wilding control in line with the Wilding Conifer Management Strategy. This was a major increase from $16 million over four years provided by the last National government. The $1.2 billion Jobs for Nature package in Budget 2020 as part of the government’s Covid Recovery programme was a Green Party initiative. It has included a number of wilding control projects such as on the Cragieburn Range.
The effectiveness of a nationally led programme to tackle wilding conifers in co-operation with landholders is proven. Funding needs to continue at a similar or increased level to that provided currently, to protect past gains and to deal with infestations such as in Marlborough’s Branch and Leatham catchments and reduce the area of vulnerable land exposed to wind-blown seed spread.
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