Wilding conifers are invasive weeds that threaten to permanently alter the unique landscapes that are only found in New Zealand.

Without any control, they will form dense forests that have environmental consequences on our native ecosystems and alter iconic landscapes.

The Whakatipu District values and relies on its distinctive landscapes, open spaces and rural productive land for its social, cultural and economic well-being. Wilding trees are spreading across parts of the District and have visually degraded parts of the landscape and left other areas vulnerable to landscape and biodiversity degradation.

Wilding pines threaten to smother community recreational facilities and historic sites, some of which have been heavily invested in.

“The Scion cultural values study identified sites of cultural value and asked respondents to identify the impacts on those sites. The main cultural practices common across the sites impacted by wilding conifers were walking, hunting, cycling, picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing, weddings…family holidays, spiritual connection, holidaying, and camping, creating legacy, and appreciating or curating heritage. The majority of the interviewees preferred the scenario of complete removal of wilding conifers from most of the environmental spaces for access, visual, aesthetic, cultural and natural heritage reasons…”
Scion Research

Gallery of change

See how wilding pines have taken hold over the years…