Introduction

Enjoy Northland's stunning natural areas, but please do your bit to protect our great kauri from the deadly kauri dieback disease and devastation by wildfires is a message from the Northland Conservation Board.

Date:  09 February 2014

The Northland Conservation Board welcomes the recent extension of the Kauri Dieback Management Programme that aims to manage the threat to kauri in New Zealand. While the programme directs research and creates public awareness, anyone can help to save kauri.

Enjoy Northland's stunning natural areas, but please do your bit to protect our great kauri from kauri dieback disease and devastation by wildfires is a message from the Northland Conservation Board.

Kauri in Puketi Forest.
Kauri in Puketi Forest

Northland Conservation Board Chair Mita Harris says, "As the warm weather continues, visitors and locals keep flocking to Northland's beautiful beaches. After soaking up the sun, many take the opportunity to explore the nearby kauri forests."

"It's terrific that people want to appreciate our majestic kauri, but we ask that you follow a few simple precautions to help stop the spread of the deadly kauri dieback."

Kauri dieback is a fungus-like disease caused by Phytophthora taxon Agathis (PTA), which can kill trees of all ages. Footwear, animals, equipment, and vehicles can spread PTA between different areas of kauri.

Mr Harris says, "We don't have any treatment for kauri dieback yet. All we can do at this stage is to contain the disease in its current locations and stop the spread into healthy areas."

"What you can do to help is simple. When you're around kauri, make sure you clean shoes, tyres, and equipment to remove all visible soil and plant material before and after visiting kauri forest. Stay on the track and off kauri roots, and keep your dog on a leash at all times."

"Our ecosystems are quite fragile," says Mr Harris "the recent fire at Waipoua Forest also serves as a grim reminder of how quickly we could lose these taonga/treasures."

Mr Harris says, "Special places like Maitai Bay or Waipoua Forest inspire us. They are an important part of us. The memories we build visiting these places shape us and make us value them. Our values are passed from one generation to the next."

"We need to make sure that Northland's special places will always be there for us, and we can all help in our own way, from stopping the spread of PTA and being fire-wise to picking up rubbish or setting up a pest control project."

The Northland Conservation Board also acknowledges the collaborative efforts of Tangata Whenua, and central and local government to protect high value kauri areas.

Ian Mitchell, Relationship Manager for the Kauri Dieback Management Programme, says, "The Kauri Dieback Management Programme is an innovative biosecurity response. It specifically ensures that Tangata Whenua are woven through all parts of the programme, and that Matauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) is acknowledged and implemented or at least being developed in conjunction with the Western scientific approach."

"The Kauri Dieback Management Programme was recently under review, but I'm pleased to announce that current programme is being extended beyond 2014 for another 5-10 years."

Tony Beauchamp, DOC Science and Capability Technical Advisor Threats has a recommendation for private landowners "If you have kauri on your land and you believe PTA could be present, get it checked. You can help by keeping kauri areas fenced and maintain fence lines to protect trees that are still in good condition."


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Contact

Mita Harris
Northland Conservation Board Chair
Phone: + 64 27 584 4332

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