Public Notice

From the office of the Chairperson

1 February 2016

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for completing our online survey in which we sought feedback about whether the Otago Regional Council should be involved in the management of wilding conifers in the Otago region.

The survey has now closed, and I am writing to you because you asked to be notified of the results. The survey closed on January 22, and attracted 589 responses.

The largest number of survey responses came from Queenstown Lakes District (277), followed by Dunedin City (132), Central Otago District (128), Waitaki District (23), and Clutha District (15).

A key finding was that 93 percent of respondents are concerned about the spread of wilding conifers and

its impacts, and want ORC to support the work of community groups controlling the spread.

Of those asked to identify which particular impacts of the spread of wilding conifers they were most concerned about, the top three issues were loss of scenic landscapes, damage to environmentally sensitive areas, and reduced water availability in rivers.

Of those asked how important it was to reduce the spread of wilding conifers across Otago landscapes, only 6 percent thought it unimportant.

I am pleased that so many people took the time to complete the survey – the strength of the response indicates that people are concerned about this issue.

We will take into account the feedback that you and others who participated provided, when considering whether to propose funding and develop options for public consultation, for community-based wilding conifer management projects in our draft 2016-17 Annual Plan.

If you wish, you are welcome to comment on any proposed options through the Annual Plan submission process. A draft plan consultation document will be publicly available from late March and submissions will close on May 2.

Yours sincerely Stephen Woodhead Chairperson

Our Ref: A878086