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The Wilding Conifer Control Programme is a cross-agency programme let by MPI in partnership with DOC, LINZ and the Ministry of Defence. So far, the programme has successfully controlled wilding pine infestations across 1.5 million hectares of vulnerable New Zealand landscapes, primarily in the South Island high country.

This active control means we have protected more than 3 million hectares, or just over 11 %, of New Zealand.

The programme has developed this new website as part of a wider communications strategy to increase public awareness, and support programme partners and stakeholders working with the public, particularly in areas where we have not done wilding control before.

Wilding pines are an issue throughout New Zealand. The programme was introduced to bring a more systematic, efficient and planned approach to national wilding pines management. We provide for local fund managers (mainly regional authorities, working with NGOs) to tackle infestations in their area. 

A significant and increasing focus is on awareness communications and stakeholder engagement.
The programme and its work will be increasingly visible. Not only will people see control activity underway, but it will significantly change the landscape. Throughout New Zealand dead or dying wilding pines will be very visible.

We need communities to understand why this is necessary, and to support the work. As the programme has expanded into new areas, we have seen increased public resistance to wilding control work. It is vital that as we expand we build awareness and establish our social license to operate. We have completed social research (qualitative and quantative) which has identified the need to strengthen our communication, with a focus on plain English.

Our audience research has found that people do not understand the term “wilding conifers” (which is scientifically accurate), but people are aware of “wilding pines”. It found that the issue is poorly understood, particularly in the North Island. Even where awareness is higher only a third of people
see wildings as harmful.

In response to the research findings we have adopted plain language and updated our branding, adopting the term ‘wilding pines’ in our logo. We have developed this website built around this updated brand. The new site will focus on plain-English, public-facing content, and supporting programme partners to promote local activities.

Our communications approach includes development of general communication channels assets to support the programme (building on past activity) and localised material, targeted to communities where control work will take place.

Our focus is on awareness and social license for wilding pine control work. The focus of our communications is on the issue, throughout New Zealand. The choice of domain name reflects the need for a separate domain focus on the campaign/topic.

We also want the material on the site to be adopted and adapted by a wide range of stakeholders outside of Government. The domain, as part of the wider brand, needs to focus on the issue - rather than on the Government agency/agencies delivering it.

This site is for anyone interested in the issue of wilding pines in there community. Here, you'll find a range of materials  outlining why wilding pines are a problem, where they are a problem, and what we're doing about them.  You'll also find resources you can use to help raise awareness about the issue in your community.  We'll be adding more resources in the coming weeks.

We hope you like the site.  If you have feedback, questions or suggestions, we'd love to hear it.  Email us at wilding.pines@mpi.govt.nz