Media release

ORC to consult on wilding pine control involvement

Friday 11 September 2015

The Otago Regional Council wants to have an informed debate with the Otago community before deciding what level of involvement it should have with the control of wilding pines in the region, ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said today.

Mr Woodhead said the council was aware of the spread of wilding trees within the region over many years, and applauded the work of many community groups, such as the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group, in managing these trees.

ORC had been preparing for some time for a consultation process which would occur with key stakeholders and the wider community during November, and was keen for an informed debate about whether and if the council should be involved in wilding control, he said.

This would be a prelude, depending on public feedback, to including the issue in further consultation during ORC’s 2016-17 Annual Plan process, Mr Woodhead said.  

For these reasons, he rejected reported assertions by Conservation Minister Maggie Barry that ORC was “dragging the chain” on the problem.

Mr Woodhead said the release of a NZ Wilding Conifer Management Strategy, the recent launch of the National Policy Direction for Pest Management, and the forthcoming review of the Otago Regional Pest Plan, had all meant the timing was right for the council to consult the public.

The key questions ORC would pose during the consultation would include whether the council should be involved in a regulatory role with wilding control, or contributing financially to this control, or a combination of both these things.

“We look forward to the Government providing funding in support of its own obligations to deal with legacy plants on Crown land, on the conservation estate, and on other Crown land,” Mr Woodhead said.

For more information please contact

Stephen Woodhead
Ph 027 280 1635