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Funding good start in tackling Wilding Pine

Funding good start in tackling Wilding Pine but biosecurity incursion response needs more

Federated Farmers welcomes funding for the control of Wilding Pines but warns that more money is needed for biosecurity incursion response measures.

The Wilding Pines initiative sits within MPI’s existing allocation for Biosecurity Incursion Response and Long Term Pest Management, which for 2016/17 will increase by $1 million from 2015/16 (from $34 million to $35 million).

High Country chairman Simon Williamson said: "The money allocated to Wilding Pines is the bare minimum we need to demonstrate that the long term strategy for wilding control, worked on for the past 18 months, is of both environmental and economic benefit to the country. This is a start, anything less wouldn’t have been worth it. $4 million is a chance to show Wilding Pines can be beaten in piloted areas but the problem continues to grow year on year."

Federated Farmers Vice-President and forestry spokesperson Anders Crofoot said: "Biosecurity continues to be a huge concern for farmers especially in the wake of recent incursions including velvetleaf, pea weevil, noogoora bur, blackgrass, giant willow aphid, and eucalyptus beetle.

"When we consider velvetleaf there is a horrendous cost to this incursion that continues to mount. Ongoing investment is needed to ensure we have the tools to protect New Zealand’s environment and economy," Mr Crofoot concluded.

ENDS

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