NZBA Winner 2022

The Whakatipu Wilding Control Group (WCG) is a community-led, not-for-profit organisation created in 2009. WCG is focused on protecting our unique biodiversity and outstanding natural landscapes for the benefit of residents, users, visitors and particularly, for future generations.

Queenstown is renowned for its stunning and iconic landscapes which are under threat from wilding conifers, (also known as wilding pines), where they threaten and replace our native Beech forests, alpine herb fields and tussock lands, endangering our natural ecosystems essential to native wildlife.

Our vision is the protection and enhancement of:

Landscape and Aesthetic values – Views of beautiful golden tussock lands and glacial landscapes are under threat. Shading, overcrowding and loss of sunlight negatively impact facilities and communities.

Conservation Values – The loss of flora and fauna which is unique to the biodiversity of the Otago region.

Land Use values – Timber in most wildings have little economic use and a closed conifer canopy shades out grazing species.

Hydrological Values – Closed canopy lowers water yield into rivers/catchments due to canopy interception and evaporation.

Recreational Values –Tramping, walking, running, cycling and skiing tracks and trails are at risk of being destroyed and smothered.

Historical Values – Our valued historical sites must be kept intact and free from wilding invasion.

Our Strategy

An updated WCG Strategic Plan was approved by the WCG Executive in August 2023. The plan positions the WCG for future decision-making, including necessary lobbying and advocacy for funding and prioritises the use of limited funding.

“In addition to wilding control, there are three other critically important elements in this strategy:

  1. Community engagement and support
  2. Landowner, stakeholder and partner support
  3. Funding security

Integrated activities across all these elements will give the best opportunity to achieve the goal of wildings under control in the Whakatipu and preserve our environment for present and future generations”
Grant Hensman, Chair, WCG

This Strategic Plan was developed by a subgroup of the WCG Executive led by Jon White and included Peter Willsman, Dick Hubbard and Graeme Watson.

Download Strategy

Whakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group Strategic Plan 2023-2033