The Department of Conservation (DOC) supports the proactive action by Northland Iwi, Te Uri o Hau, in placing a rahui (temporary access ban) over two maunga (mountains) near Kaiwaka in Northland to help prevent the spread of kauri die-back disease.
Te Uri o Hau applied the rahui late last year when the disease, Phytophthora taxon Agathis (PTA) was discovered in kauri trees on Pukekaroro. Nearby Pukeareinga was included in the ban, even though that maunga remains clear of the disease at present. Te Uri o Hau own the top of both these culturally important maunga.
DOC’s Northern Regional Services director Chris Jenkins said the deadly disease has been having a devastating effect on Northland kauri for the past decade, both on conservation land and in privately-owned forest, and has more recently been found on the Coromandel.
"DOC is taking an active approach to managing kauri dieback. We provide boot-spray facilities at popular track entrances, provide public education on how to reduce the spread of the disease and contribute to a multi-agency effort. We accept and support all practical measures, including rahui, that may help the spread of kauri dieback. The action by Te Uri o Hau in applying customary practice measures to protect their own taonga ngahere makes good sense," Chris Jenkins said.
"Positive actions by Iwi and other private landowners and forest owners will support DOC’s own approach to preventing the spread of this disease."
Kauri dieback is the deadly kauri disease caused by Phytophthora taxon Agathis (or PTA). Following DNA studies, this fungus-like disease was formally identified in 2008 as a distinct and previously undescribed species of Phytophthora. Kauri dieback is specific to New Zealand kauri and can kill trees of all ages.
Microscopic spores in the soil infect kauri roots and damage the tissues that carry nutrients within the tree. Infected trees show a range of symptoms including yellowing of foliage, loss of leaves, canopy thinning, dead branches and lesions that bleed gum at the base of the trunk.Nearly all infected kauri die. In the past 10 years, kauri dieback has killed thousands of kauri in New Zealand.
Scientists are currently working to find control tools for this disease but there is no known treatment at this time.
The collaborative effort to address kauri dieback includes Tāngata Whenua,Ministry for Primary Industries, the Department of Conservation, Northland Regional Council, Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
More information can be found on the Kauri Dieback website.