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WPN releases new policy report

Date: 8th April 2022

This report examines the gaps and limitations in policy relating to wilding conifer management.

Although much progress has been made in recent years to control the spread of wilding conifers, there are still gaps and limitations in the current policy and regulatory frameworks which relate to wilding conifer management. The Wilding Pine Network (WPN) is concerned that these gaps and limitations may allow ongoing and future wilding conifer spread, in spite of recent control progress. The WPN is particularly concerned that the significant investment already made in wilding conifer control will not be able to be protected. Additionally, new areas of wilding conifer spread might not be prevented or effectively mitigated by the current policy settings.

The WPN commissioned this report to identify the gaps and limitations in the policy and legislative framework and recommend potential options to address these issues.

Wildings spreading from a plantation

The WPN is deliberating on the recommendations in this report. We acknowledge that conifers can be both a resource and a pest, and we need to take a balanced and holistic approach to policy and legislative changes. Additionally, education and awareness are a critical component of behaviour change, alongside potential policy and regulatory changes.

We are considering all of the recommendations in this report, and in particular the promotion of a National Pest Management Plan for wilding conifers. We also see the need to amend the Wilding Tree Risk Calculator used in the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry to make it a more transparent and reliable tool. Through this report, we have also identified that we need a better understanding of existing seed sources and their spread risk. Therefore, we will explore mapping high-risk areas of wilding conifer spread to better understand and proactively manage wilding conifer spread risks

It is our hope that in sharing this report, we will help elucidate the gaps and limitations in current policy and legislation, and we will all work together towards equitable changes to prevent and mitigate future wilding conifer spread.

Download the report here: Wilding Conifer Management in NZ: Policy Report

Please direct questions and comments on this report to: info@wildingpinenetwork.org.nz.

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