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 cleaning stations at track entrances
  • education and behaviour change.

Track upgrades and closures

So far 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 third year of a three-year track upgrade programme.

In the first two years of the programme, we upgraded 54 high priority tracks, equating to 165 km of track, and closed 13 tracks and four reserves. Further track closures were announced in October 2018 after a public consultation closed on 10 August 2018.

Track closures announced in October 2018 . 

In consultation with local communities, we’re continuing our work to establish next steps for the remaining tracks. This can include, upgrade, closure or partial closure. We have track mitigation work currently underway across kauri zones.

Cleaning stations

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Person cleaning shoes at biosecurity station
Image: DOC

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

We have trialled various cleaning methods and stations over recent years. Two years ago we piloted cleaning stations at four sites in 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 cleaning station at Tāne Mahuta in Waipoua Forest last year. 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. 20 of the new stations are being installed on busy and high-risk DOC managed tracks in the kauri region. Ongoing monitoring, research and feedback will inform any further refinements.

How do you use a cleaning station?

Using them is simple:

  • Brush 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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