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Thanks to DOC Hawke's Bay for sharing this story.

Photo of group on hill surrounded by native bush and wilding conifers

Hawke’s Bay Wilding Pines Community Group at Kaweka Forest Park

Just a few individuals can make a huge difference to wilding pine infestations, as we know from around the country.  Here, we want to highlight a dedicated group in Hawke’s Bay who are helping to restore the Kaweka Forest Park (aka “the Kawekas”). 

The Hawke’s Bay Wilding Pine Volunteer Group was set up with DOC to manage wilding conifers in the Kaweka (Twin) Lakes area of the Kaweka Forest Park.  The twin lakes, Rotoroa and Rototuna, and their surrounds are a particularly beautiful and sensitive part of the Kaweka Forest Park; this 98 ha area hosts more than 280 native plant species, including several that are uncommon and nationally significant.  The group aims to clear wilding conifers (primarily contorta but also some radiata and Douglas-fir) from this site completely.  This is part of DOC’s wider effort to control the spread of wildings within the Kawekas and to shield the neighbouring Ruahine Ranges.

Thanks to the members of the Hawke’s Bay Wilding Pines Community Group, in just the past year or so (since April 2023), more than 10,000 wilding pines have been eradicated in the Twin Lakes area.  The group has been so successful here that they have just branched out into the Kohinga block of the Kawekas. 

The group also helps others with their wilding control efforts and in November 2023 got stuck in with the Hastings- Havelock North branch of Forest & Bird at Blowhard Bush Scenic Reserve, where they removed 182 wilding pines. 

The group has been so successful that they have now formed a trust (Hawke’s Bay Wilding Pine Control Trust), to be able to access funding to support their ongoing control efforts.  If you live in Hawke’s Bay and would like to be part of a group making a massive difference to one of our country’s biggest biodiversity problems, the Hawke’s Bay Wilding Pine Volunteer Group welcomes new members.  Look them up on Facebook (Hawke’s Bay Wilding Pine Volunteer Group | Facebook) or find them at: www.afoot.co.nz\conservation


Image of cut wilding tree with hand saw and stump painted

One down - cut off at ground level and stump painted

Image of two men crouching at foot of wilding

Hawke's Bay Wilding Community Group in action