Wilding pine control for Taupo’s mountain, Tongariro River

Electorate news
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Department of Conservation funding will help restore Taupo’s Mount Tauhara to its natural state and improve its biodiversity and beauty, Taupo MP Louise Upston says.

The Tauhara Mountain Trust has been granted $75,000 from the Department of Conservation (DOC) Community Fund for wilding pine control on the maunga. It is one of two projects in the region to receive funding in the latest round. The other is a project by the Advocates for the Tongariro River which will receive $5000 for wilding pine and willow control along the river’s margins.

“Tauhara Maunga and Tongariro River are significant for the people of this region – for local Maori, for recreation and for the economy through tourism,” Ms Upston says.

Mount Tauhara has some wilding pines more than 25m tall and they are spread across a significant area. The project, which will be co-funded by Waikato Regional Council, will undertake wilding pine control across 1160ha.

The Tongariro River project will improve the health of the river which is famous for its trout fishery and restore the native vegetation. It is being co-funded by the W N Pharazyn Trust.

“It is crucial that pest trees are removed to prevent them from spreading even further and destroying important habitats for native species. Controlling the willows and wilding pines will improve native biodiversity in these areas and make these special places even more beautiful. I am proud of the work our communities have already done,” Ms Upston says.

The control of wilding species is crucial for DOC’s War on Weeds programme which seeks to get more New Zealanders involved in weed control across the country.

The DOC Community Fund will distribute more than $4 million in 2016/17 to organisations ranging from small community groups working across a single site to national partnerships.