“People said the job [removing the wilding pines] was too tough, that it would be too hard, but over the last two years we have shown what can be done,” says Mr Teele.
Mr Teele says the work already achieved is a tribute to the community.
“We have had community days when large numbers of people have turned up to help us remove wilding pines. Then there are the unsung heroes, our regular volunteers who are so vital to this work.”
The Arrowtown Choppers are a group of volunteers who remove wilding pines in their spare time.
“These are people who have fulltime jobs and families and still manage to find the time to climb up into the hills and pull out seedlings and chop down trees. Everything we have accomplished is thanks to our community,” says Mr Teele.
While he is happy to organise the wilding pine control work, it’s not something Mr Teele wants to share with his eleven-month-old daughter.
“I don’t want to pass on the mantle of wilding control work to her. We’re doing this now, so the kids don’t have to. When they grow up, they can just go out and enjoy the spectacular landscapes around Arrowtown.”