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

We're taking practical approaches to protect the health of kauri is paramount to ensure kauri are present in the Kaimai for many generations to come.

Kauri is present on 23 tracks in the Northern Kaimai. Of these 6 covering approximately 20 km are being considered for closure to isolate some kauri stands from the majority of transmission risks (human and animal). These could provide a valuable safeguard as a future resource if infection arrives in the Kaimai. 20 km 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 consulted with iwi and the community to understand more about track use and seek feedback on proposed track upgrades and to make decisons on closures.

You can see the outcome of this consultation and track closures in the table below.

Track closures as decided from 2018 consultation
District office Track Final decision Rationale and background
Tauranga Bluff Stream Kauri to Waitengaue Hut Track Full closure from 28 November 2018
  • Kauri protection.
Tauranga Bluff Stream Kauri Track Full closure from 26 November 2018
  • Kauri protection.
  • We investigated a track realignment option but this wasn't possible. This was due to the challenging topography, an inability to avoid kauri and shared land tenure (as it traverses private land).
Tauranga Cashmores Clearing Track Full closure from 23 November 2018
  • Kauri protection.
  • This track had the original destination of the Cashmores hut. It has since changed to having no specific destination and as there are alternative tracks available it can close.
Tauranga Mangakino Stream Track (Dicky Track, County Rd) Full closure from 22 November 2018
  • Kauri protection.
  • This is a linked track from Dicky track with no specific destination. As alternative tracks are available in the vicinity, this can close.
Tauranga Wairoa Stream Track Full closure from 20 November 2018
  • Kauri protection.
  • Alternative tracks are available to the destination.
Tauranga Te Rereatukahia Hut Track Partial closure from 15 November 2018

Track closed from the entrance to the Wharawhara Link Track intersection. Protective upgrades are underway from this point to end of track (Cashmores to Te Rereatukahia / Nth-Sth Track intersection).
  • Kauri protection:
  • Most dense kauri stand. We investigated a track realignment option but was not viable.
  • Access to the Te Rereatukahia hut is still available via alternative tracks.

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
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