Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says DOC has completed the first stage of a 3-year programme to upgrade tracks in kauri forests to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback.
Twenty-six high priority tracks in the Bay of Islands, Kauri Coast, Whangarei, Auckland, Coromandel, Tauranga and Waikato regions were upgraded.
“The 56 kilometres of track were improved to reduce wet and muddy areas where there is a risk of track users spreading kauri dieback spores in mud on their footwear,” Ms Barry says.
“DOC staff installed boardwalks and plastic honeycomb cells (geoweb) filled with bark chunks and gravel to make the track dry and mud free. Some sections of track were re-routed, and steps were also installed in places.
“Upgrade work to the first tracks is complete and they have reopened for visitors to enjoy.
“DOC is working hard to protect these kauri taonga. Modifying tracks is just one of the tools we have to help stop the spread of Kauri Dieback. We will continue to explore all options to protect kauri, including track upgrades and potential track closures, around the North over the next three years.”
DOC is currently planning upgrade work on a further 150 km of track. These tracks will be temporarily closed while they are upgraded and the community told of the temporary closures.
Meanwhile, the multi-agency Kauri Dieback Management Programme continues research into the origin of the disease, its spread and new ways to detect its presence.
Kauri dieback is caused by microscopic spores in soil that infect kauri roots, stopping the flow of nutrients to 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.
- Kauri dieback is killing our forests
- Stay on track and off kauri roots.
- It can be spread with just a pinhead of infected soil
- People should clean ALL soil off footwear and other gear EVERY TIME they ENTER or LEAVE a forest
- Use disinfectant only after removing all soil