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The Government is dragging the chain on implementing a management plan to save our iconic Kauri trees, National’s Conservation spokesperson Sarah Dowie says.

“In December 2017 Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage asked the Kauri Dieback Programme to develop a National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) to stop the spread of this devastating pathogen.

“Emphasising how ‘urgent and effective action’ was needed, both Ministers at the time said this was ‘by far the strongest piece of regulation available’.

“But three years on we’re still waiting for the plan’s release and both are being evasive on where it’s currently at.

“Written questions to Minister O’Connor reveal that the Minister and his team of advisors are still shuffling papers to see whether the plan can be adequately funded.

“Meanwhile some tracks are closed and some tracks are open with timeframes for closure differing from site to site. This is alarming because forests are still at risk and the disease is still being spread.

“Kauri is the taonga of our forests and with the holiday season round the corner visitors will be wanting to experience it for themselves.

“With thousands of Kiwis set to head out and enjoy the great outdoors a management plan should have been implemented by now. Unfortunately this is yet another example of this Government failing to deliver on its promises."

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