Wilding pine volunteers to be featured on TV

The voluntary efforts of Queenstown people battling against wilding pines will be filmed next month for television broadcast across the country.

Queenstown Lakes District Council district forester Briana Pringle said the filming was part of the success of the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group at the 2010 TrustPower Community Awards.

The group won the supreme award and the heritage and environment award for their efforts in reducing the spread of wilding conifers in the Queenstown Lakes District.

"We won the TrustPower award, and this is part of that, but with rain delays and poor weather we've had to wait a while for the filming to get started," she said. In partnership with the TrustPower Community Awards, TVNZ6 will film a four-minute short story of the crew clearing some pines and discuss the ongoing threat to native species.

Volunteer numbers will be known closer to the time.

The filming will take place on Wednesday, February 16, and will most likely be near the top of the Ben Lomond forest, she said.

Overall, the battle against wilding pines across the district is "going really well".

"We've done quite a bit of spraying and other pieces around the area. I would say in some areas we are on top of it, and in other areas we need more funding," she said.

TrustPower's community relations manager Graeme Purches said he was "delighted" more New Zealanders had an opportunity to see some of the great work undertaken by volunteers.

"I am in my 12th year of involvement with the TrustPower Community Awards. During that time I have been amazed and inspired by the volunteer groups and people I have met, and their efforts and achievements. Portraying the cream of those volunteer groups ... will, I am sure, inspire a great many Kiwis, and reinforce what a wonderful country we live, work and bring up our children in," he said.

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