The Wentworth Falls Walk near Whangamata and all tracks within the Broken Hills near Tairua will be closed for approximately six weeks from early October 2017 (weather permitting) while the track upgrade work is being completed. There will be signage at track entrances and notifications posted on the DOC website to keep the public informed. It is an offence to access the track while it is closed.
Work is being done on the current track system to protect kauri and eliminate all wet and muddy sections. This will involve improving the track surface and drainage, building boardwalks and steps. Geoweb, with a bark/aggregate fill, will be laid on the track around kauri to allow their roots to grow freely. Cleaning stations will be installed at entrances/exits.
This work is undertaken at the same time as significant repair work after storm damage to DOC tracks and road in the Kauaeranga Valley. All effort has been made to coordinate both projects to keep track closures and other impact to a minimum.
Kauri dieback can kill kauri of all ages. It is caused by microscopic spores in the soil that infect kauri roots, damaging the tissues that carry nutrients within the tree. Eventually the infected tree starves to death.
The disease can be spread if someone walks through mud containing spores and carries the contaminated mud on their footwear to another kauri forest. It only takes a pinhead of infected soil to spread the disease.
There is currently no cure or treatment and nearly all infected kauri die. In the past 10 years, kauri dieback has killed thousands of kauri in New Zealand.
We can only save our kauri forests by containing the disease and stopping it spreading to other areas. Having clean footwear and equipment is a simple way to prevent the spread of the disease.
What you can do to stop the spread
- Stay on the track and off kauri roots.
- Clean all mud and plant matter from footwear and equipment before and after entering a kauri forest.
- Use the cleaning stations when entering and exiting a track.
The multi-agency Kauri Dieback Management Programme is a collaborative effort to address kauri dieback and research potential cures and treatments. The programme is made up of MPI, DOC, Tāngata Whenua Roopu and the Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regional councils.