Address at the Wilding Pine Network Conference 2023: Wildings in the backyard
On 20 October the Commissioner presented a speech at the Wilding Pine Network Conference 2023 in Queenstown.
He outlined important lessons in managing invasive species learned from the National Wilding Conifer Control Programme. These lessons include:
- failing to adequately fund control or eradication programmes risks wasting taxpayer money – in the case of wilding conifers, funding has been reduced to a level where gains to date risk being lost
- the cost of paying for biosecurity programmes must be shared by the Government, those contributing to the problem and those benefiting from the solution.
The Commissioner also argued that other weeds pose potentially significant risks to New Zealand’s biosecurity, with climate change an exacerbating factor.
These emerging risks must be monitored and responded to: “The Government needs to get wilding control funded on a long-term sustainable basis because there are scores of other plant pests just getting going on the invasion curve.”