Biosecurity Minister announces funding during Mid Dome visit

Biosecurity Minister announces funding during Mid Dome visit Biosecurity Minister announces funding during Mid Dome visit

Our client, the Mid Dome Wilding Trees Charitable Trust, received over $3 million from the Government to support their efforts to eradicate invasive conifers in Southland.

Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor visited Mid Dome earlier this month, and the Mid Dome Wilding Trees Trust asked that Boffa Miskell biosecurity consultant Marcus Girvan, the project manager, act as tour guide.

Minister O’Connor and Trust chairperson Ali Ballantine Timms flew over Mid Dome in northern Southland to see the work the Trust has already done, and Marcus explained what the Trust intended to do with the boost in funding.

“It’s always a privilege to show the work that we’re doing, and to answer any questions that the Minister has,” says Marcus. “It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate first-hand the impact that increased funding will make.”

O’Connor said Mid Dome was a challenging environment and there were a lot of unwanted trees.

“The Trust here has embarked on an eradication programme for a number of years, they’ve done a lot of good work, but the $3m extra that we’re providing to them will enable them to get on top of these trees that every year grow bigger, and are more difficult to control.’’

Forty-four new jobs will be created in northern Southland this summer after the Mid Dome Wilding Trees Trust received $3.25 million from the Government to help eradicate wilding trees. Work would include using a helicopter to spray 750ha of wilding pines, and increasing its ground control works significantly.

“We’ve always been underfunded so this means we can finally get ahead of these trees and make significant gains in restoring these eco-systems and giving land back to farmers,’’ Ballantine Timms said.

“This funding from the Government is really the silver lining of Covid, because it’s been significantly given to trusts such as ours so that we can provide extra jobs in the regions.’’

The boost in funding for the trust comes from the $100 million included in Budget 2020 for wilding pine control, which extends work to 19 to 58 sites over New Zealand in the next four years.

O’Connor said wilding pine control was part of the Government’s commitment to provide economic support for people, with a significant environmental benefit.

For further information please contact Marcus Girvan

21 September 2020