September 01, 2022
Wilding pines pose bigger threat
Wilding pines pose a greater threat to the environment than previously thought, including to large swathes of Māori land.
A study led by Manaaki Whenua Landcare senior researcher Peter Bellingham found 76 percent of Aotearoa New Zealand is climatically capable of supporting pine trees.
He found self-sown pinus radiata colonising grassland, shrub and native forests in many parts of the country.
“Te Taitokerau, Tairawhiti, the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, the Coromandel, places like that, these are the areas where it invades, and our point was to highlight it has been an overlooked issue,” Dr Bellignham says.
Holden Hohaia, Manaaki Whenua’s general manager of Māori relationships, says many iwi have large plantation forests on their land, and the research could encourage them to look at alternatives when developing land post settlement.