Wilding Free Mackenzie Volunteer Day – Why cut wilding pines?

by | Mar 7, 2024

We have Teamed up with Wilding Free Mackenzie, an amazing charitable trust focused on raising awareness of wilding pines as a significant threat to our local environment.

This volunteer day will be a fantastic way to learn about the wilding pine problem while helping to protect our fragile natural landscape.

Why cut wilding pines? 

The tussock grasslands of the Pukaki Flats are one of the best examples of indigenous fescue tussock flora left in the Mackenzie Basin. The site contains remnant moraine features, ephemeral tarns and wetlands and is classified as a Critically Endangered Inland Outwash Gravel ecosystem.

Wilding pines refer to pine trees that grow spontaneously in areas where their seeds have been dispersed by wind rather than intentionally planted.

Wilding pines can reduce groundwater by 30-80%, negatively impacting river flows, lake levels, hydroelectric production, primary industry, and anybody else who irrigates or uses water throughout NZ.

They are highly flammable and create a significant fire hazard. They also alter our indigenous New Zealand landscapes so significantly that many of our native plants and animals are at risk of extinction. Entire ecosystems are under threat from wilding pines.

Watch this 3-minute to video learn more

Volunteer day:

09:00 – Meet at the southwest corner of the Pukaki Flats reserve – an easy and flat 1.8km walk from Twizel town center and shopping area. (KM 2472.5 on Te Araroa Trail App)

09:15 – Welcome to walkers and volunteers & safety briefing

09:30 – 12:00 – Cutting wilding pines

12:00 – BBQ lunch as a thank you!

Please wear sturdy, covered footwear (no jandals or sandals) and bring your raincoat, sun hat and drink bottle. Wilding Free Mackenzie will provide all the gear you need. 

RSVP to and click ‘going’ on the Facebook event.

We are keen to explore more volunteering opportunities along the trail, so please share any stories or ideas you have!

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