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Support shown for controlling spread of pest pines

Media Release - 27 January 2016

An online survey run by the Otago Regional Council points to strong support for council involvement in the management of wilding conifers in the region.

The survey, completed by 589 respondents, closed on Friday.

A key finding was that 93 percent of respondents are concerned about the spread of wilding conifers and its impacts, and want ORC to support the work of community groups controlling the spread.

Of those asked to identify which particular impacts of the spread of wilding conifers they were most concerned about, the top three issues were loss of scenic landscapes, damage to environmentally sensitive areas, and reduced water availability in rivers.

Of those asked how important it was to reduce the spread of wilding conifers across Otago landscapes, only 6 percent thought it unimportant.

ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said he was pleased so many people had taken the time to complete the 10-question survey.

“The strength of the response indicates that people are concerned about this issue and we thank those who participated,” Mr Woodhead said.

“This preliminary feedback is useful as we consider whether to propose funding for community-based wilding conifer management projects in our draft 2016-17 Annual Plan, and develop options for public consultation,” he said.

Mr Woodhead said people would be able to comment on the issue and any proposed options through the Annual Plan submission process. A draft plan consultation document will be publicly available from late March and submissions will close on May 2.

Note to editors/chief reporters: The largest number of survey responses came from Queenstown Lakes District (277), followed by Dunedin City (132), Central Otago District (128), Waitaki District (23), and Clutha District (15).

For more information contact

Stephen Woodhead
Chairman
ORC
Ph 027 280 1635

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