Introduction

Learn about kauri dieback and related Tauranga track upgrades and closures.

What is kauri dieback?

Kauri dieback disease, caused by a fungus like pathogen, can kill kauri of all ages. The disease lives in the soil, infecting the roots and damaging tissues that carry nutrients within the tree – eventually starving it to death.

Symptoms include yellowing of foliage, loss of leaves, canopy thinning and dead branches. Affected trees could also develop lesions that bleed resin. Any movement of contaminated soil or root material – on footwear, equipment, vehicles, or animals – can spread the disease. There is currently no cure or treatment. We can only save our kauri forests by containing the disease and stopping it spreading to other areas.

What you can do to stop the spread

  • Stay on the track and off kauri roots.
  • Clean all soil off your footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after entering a kauri forest.
  • Report suspected sightings of diseased kauri to 0800 NZ KAURI (0800 69 52874).
  • More ways you can help save kauri.

What is being done to protect kauri?

Nationally, DOC is working with the joint-agency Kauri Dieback Programme to build people’s understanding of the disease, and gain their commitment to cleaning their footwear, equipment, dogs, and vehicles before entering and after leaving kauri forests.

The DOC Tauranga Office has formed a small team to develop an advocacy programme and track work programme. Tauranga has received funding for surveying, installing new cleaning stations and targeted track upgrades where kauri is present. Maintenance funding has also been allocated to maintain tracks after upgrade.

The work plan includes:

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

Connecting Māori culture, values, and traditional use of kauri to the programme is valued and supported by the Department. Community groups also play a pivotal role in advocacy and generously volunteer their time to help maintain tracks in the Kaimai.  

Will any tracks be closed?

kaimai-mamaku-kauri-zone-map.jpg

Practical methods to protect the health of kauri is paramount to ensure kauri are present in the Kaimai for many generations to come. 23 tracks in the Northern Kaimai have kauri present on them. Of these 23 tracks, 6 tracks covering approximately 20km are being considered for closure as an action to isolate some kauri stands from the majority of vectors (human and animal), and could provide a valuable safeguard as a future resource if infection arrives in the Kaimai. 20km of track represents 5% of the total 360 km of track in the Kaimai, so extensive tramping opportunities in our backcountry will remain available for visitors. 

We are currently consulting with iwi and the community to understand more about track use and seek feedback on proposed track upgrades and closures. Regular users of the Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park (trampers, hunters, school groups, etc) may need to use alternative tracks if construction is underway. If you are planning a trip to the Kaimai, please check our website for up to date alerts on any closures or maintenance.

Proposed track upgrades and closures for the Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park

Track name

Preferred option

Cashmore Clearing Track

CLOSE

Wairoa Stream Track

CLOSE

Bluff Stream Kauri Track

CLOSE

Bluff Stream to Waitengaue Hut Track

CLOSE

Mangakino Stream Track

CLOSE

Lindemann Loop Track

MITIGATE

Te Rereatukahia Hut Track

MITIGATE

Dickey Flat – Daly Junction

MITIGATE

Lindemann to Cashmore Clearing Track

MITIGATE

Mangakino Pack Track

MITIGATE

Rapurapu Kauri Track

MITIGATE

Upper Waitawheta Track

MITIGATE

Waiorongomai – Low Level Track

MITIGATE

Waipapa Track

MITIGATE

Waitengaue Stream Track

MITIGATE

Waitengaue to Upper Waitawheta Track

MITIGATE

Wharawhara Tramway Track

MITIGATE

Have your say on proposed track closures

Where has the disease been confirmed?

To date, the kauri in the Kaimai has not shown any signs or symptoms of the disease.

The disease currently affects trees in Northland, Auckland, Great Barrier Island and the Coromandel Peninsula. It’s potential to spread to the Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park places our kauri stands at risk. The Kaimai has 23 walking tracks with kauri present. DOC is working with iwi partners and consulting the public on options to upgrade, realign, or close some of these tracks over the next year(s). 

Why should we protect kauri?

Tauranga communities needs to be wary that each of us hold this species’ future in our hands. Without the efforts of the public, it is almost certain that the disease will spread to kauri in the Kaimai. It only takes one unclean boot to spread the disease. Tauranga has an opportunity to become a national leader in kauri protection by adopting lessons learned from Northland and the Waitakare Ranges, to keep the Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park kauri dieback free.

Kauri are a cornerstone of the indigenous forests of the upper North Island. They are one of the longest-living tree species in the world (reaching ages of 1000 years-plus), as well as the largest. Kauri played an important role in many aspects of Māori culture being integrated into creation mythology, rituals, war, art and everyday life. Māori regard it as a Rangatira (chiefly) species because of its eco-system supporting role. The plants, animals and ecosystems that kauri create and support are indirectly under threat from kauri dieback.

How can I find out more information?

Tauranga Office
Phone:   +64 7 578 7677
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   taurangainfo@doc.govt.nz
Address:   253 Chadwick Road West
Greerton West
Tauranga 3112
Postal Address:   PO Box 9003
Greerton West
Tauranga 3142
Back to top