Jo Ritchie, Coordinator of the Wilding Pine Network and part-time Field Skills tutor at Te Pūkenga NMIT, received an award in recognition of their management of wilding conifer infestations in New Zealand.
Jo said that significant gains had been made towards the National Conifer Management Strategy 2015-2030 over the past few years.
“The programme is close to breaking the back, but if we don’t keep the pressure on, with funding about to be reduced, then we will go backwards,” she said.
“We need to sustain the gains and build on the extraordinary mahi that has been done already,” she said.
The Conservation programme at Te Pūkenga NMIT provide ākonga with hands-on experience in weed management and control.
Geoff Button, conservation tutor, says wilding pines are extensively covered during trips in the Red Hills area, where Trainee Rangers work in partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC).
“We often get between 7,000 – 10,000 pines out during a week of work,” Geoff said.
Learn more about the conservation programmes and short courses available for 2023 by heading to our website(external link).