Mackenzie Basin Wilding Trees Charitable Trust

The Trust

The Trust is a registered Charity, formed in 2016 as a vehicle to promote knowledge about the impact of wilding trees in the Mackenzie Basin and to work with stakeholders to implement a strategic approach to deal with the challenges wilding trees present.

The Trust has 6 trustees, all are landowners in the Basin. The Trust meets regularly, along with representatives of the affected Government departments (DOC, LINZ, MPI and the NZ Defence Force) and local government (ECAN, MDC). These bodies all participate in the meetings and collaborate in prioritising, arranging and obtaining funding for dealing with the wildings on land within the Mackenzie Basin.

As part of this collaboration, the Trust is encouraging land owners to support the Trust's objectives by;
Continuing their work on wilding trees control, and
To work with their neighbours to achieve widespread control of wilding trees.

It is clear that much of the funding being made available from MPI and other Government sources is dependent on this collaborative approach. This means we must demonstrate the commitment to the task by quantifying the costs incurred and the efforts undertaken by the landowner. We strongly encourage landowners to record their wilding eradication and management activities and costs so that their continuing contribution can be quantified.

A paper outlining the types of costs and activities you can think about will be circulated. This is a guide only and you should add other items if they apply to you.

Wilding Management Strategy

All affected areas in New Zealand have been or are addressing the wilding tree issues. ln the Mackenzie Basin, ECAN and DOC contracted Te Manahuna to prepare a management strategy for the district. Following consultation with landowners, a comprehensive wilding management strategy was completed and adopted by ECAN, DOC and the Trust. This forms the basis for the work already undertaken and planned in the Basin.

The strategy records that the Wilding Conifer Management Zone covers some 535,305 hectares. It identifies and illustrates the potential effects of the wildings in the Mackenzie. Adverse implications include loss of many varieties of our biodiversity, lost production for farmlands, reduction in water yields, threats to recreational and tourism uses, increased dangers from fire, iced roads and implications for powerline networks. The paper also provides an implementation plan for the work to be done

All of the issues are real threats to the long term economic future of the Basin.

It will take at least 12 years to get the Mackenzie Basin to a position of containing the wildings and so there is a need for a long-term commitment to the issue by all landowners and agencies.

1. To ensure long term planning is effective, the Trust aims to align its efforts with the Mackenzie Country Trust under the umbrella of the Mackenzie Agreement and with other key groups such as Federated Farmers who, with their members, are concerned about controlling the wilding problem.

The Trustees are aware of the size of the task and encourage landowners to work with us by:
1.      Continuing your efforts to eradicate and control wilding trees on your properties; 
2.   Recording your wilding eradication and management activities and costs so that your contribution demonstrates to funders that landowners are committed to fighting the expansion of the wildings.
3.   Noting That one landowner not participating can cause significant exposures to neighbouring properties.

What has been achieved to date?

The DOC District in the Mackenzie Basin has treated some 202,000 hectares over the last 10 years with approximately 50% at zero population. However continued surveillance will continue.

MPI has this year helped fund the control of 137,000 hectares in the Godley area this year.

A great deal of effort has taken place in researching options available for the control of wildings. Spray options and other techniques continue to be developed by SCION and Landcare Research to improve and widen the options. Farmers are also developing ways of controlling wildings by encapsulation.

The Trust intends to provide landowners with regular updates of advances so that everyone can benefit from new knowledge and more effective practices.

Government agencies are taken action to contain the spread of wilding in the Mackenzie and this effort is an ongoing task. Local Government is also participating by providing planning information as to suitable trees to use in the area

And at a local level, the Ohau Conservation Trust and the Twizel Landcare Group contribute by organising working bees that target local areas for eradication. 

The Future

With the work planned for the next year, subject to MPI Funding being available, over two-thirds of the affected Mackenzie Basin will have been treated. Work is planned for both East Pukaki (south of the Tekapo Canal) and western sides of Lake Tekapo (Braemar).

Although this is a very good result, ongoing control of new seedlings will require continued efforts as will work on attacking the cone sources causing the problem.

lf you would like to find out more about the Trust and how you can participate in effective Wilding control, please contact a local Trustee who can take on board any comments or concerns you have and report back to the Trustees at a future meeting.


Andrew Simpson, Chairman E: 
Ross lvey E:
Simon Cameron E:
George Ormond E: 
Kaye Paardekooper E: kaye@paardekooper,
Bruce Cowan, Secretary/Treasurer E:

Please click the link below to complete and return the Mackenzie Basin Wilding Tree Charitable Trust Farmer Survey

(Adobe PDF File)