Tane Mahuta cleaning station

Image: DOC

Introduction

DOC is responsible for protecting kauri on the land we manage. This includes many of New Zealand’s most significant kauri forests.

The work is led by our Kauri Dieback Recreation Project team, who take guidance and coordination from the wider Kauri Dieback Programme led by Biosecurity NZ (MPI).

The project’s work plan includes:

  • upgrading tracks to eliminate muddy sections and protect kauri roots
  • re-routing tracks to avoid kauri
  • changing the allowable recreational use of tracks and, in some locations, closing the tracks
  • improving signage
  • installing footwear hygiene stations at track entrances
  • education and behaviour change.

Track upgrades and closures

We've surveyed the entire 735 km network of DOC-managed tracks in kauri forests. This involved assessing the condition of the tracks and mapping all kauri within 1.5 m of a track.

Having identified 186 tracks for possible upgrade or closure, we're now in the final year of our track upgrade programme. Over 70 tracks have been upgraded, and over 40 closed so far.

In consultation with local communities, we continue our work to establish next steps for the remaining tracks. This can include, upgrade, closure or partial closure.

Hygiene stations

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Person cleaning shoes at a hygiene station
Image: DOC

We're installing hygiene stations at appropriate locations on all DOC managed tracks.

We have trialled various hygiene methods and stations over recent years, including a pilot of four stations at Northland and the Coromandel. Extensive testing, monitoring and evaluation of the stations resulted in further improvements.

This led to the installation of a large walk-through, partly-automated hygiene station at Tāne Mahuta in Waipoua Forest in 2017. It is helping to ensure that every one of the almost 200,000 people who visit the site every year arrive at the tree – and depart again – with clean footwear.

We've since developed and further refined an enhanced 'Mark 2' prototype.

They are being installed on DOC managed tracks within the Waikato, Tauranga, Hauraki, Whitianga, Auckland Mainland, Whangarei, Bay of Islands and Kauri Coast districts.

How do you use a hygiene station?

Using them is simple:

  • Brush all soil from your shoes.
  • Inspect thoroughly and if not clean brush again.
  • Disinfect by stepping on the foot pump.
  • After you're done, remember to stay on the track.

More information:

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