Control of wilding pines on the culturally significant Taupō landmark Tauhara Maunga will begin before the holidays.
The work is part of a long-term vision and restoration plan for the maunga, and a priority for the joint trusts charged with kaitiakitanga — caring for the health and well-being of their taonga.
The popular walking track to the summit of the maunga will remain open, however visitors may notice helicopters and contractors working to control the invasive wilding pines, which seed quickly and spread easily, overtaking ecosystems for native species.
Following an ecological assessment of the mountain in 2017, small-scale control has been happening for some time. This next phase is a substantial push to eradicate remaining pines and prevent further seed spread.
"Long-term, the commitment and vision of the Trusts are to safeguard, restore and enhance Tauhara Maunga," says joint trusts spokesperson John Fenwick.
"The trustees have endorsed the helicopter operation and contractor work to remove the wilding pines as an action resulting from the ecological assessment previously commissioned.
We hope this work enables us to move ahead with future enhancement of the maunga, which includes exploring opportunities for potential economic development," he said.