Waitākere tracks close to prevent spread of kauri dieback

Long Lunch 01/05/2018
Kauri dieback. Photo credit: Supplied.

The forested areas of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park are closed, effective today.

Auckland Council has implemented the closures after a decision was made last month to prevent the spread of, and protect against, kauri dieback disease.

10 higher-risk tracks in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park have also closed.

New signs and barriers will start to appear on tracks and compliance officers monitoring the closures and controlled areas in both parks.

Former biosecurity manager for Auckland Council Jack Craw says the council should be applauded for this move.

“Other councils and MPI have done nothing. Auckland’s had to lead the way.”

Kauri dieback disease, which can be spread by walkers, has affected about 20 percent of trees in the forest.

“With the right kind of follow up measures we can save the rest of it,” Mr Craw said.

While Mr Craw is happy with the decision to close the tracks, he says we need to do more.

“What council needs to do now is make sure that the closed tracks, which are all the disease tracks, and also the tracks that are muddy and contain kauri won’t get disease spread.

It is people spreading 95 percent of the disease.

In a statement councillor Penny Hulse said, "The closures will slow the spread of kauri dieback, benefiting our kauri forests – but the support of Aucklanders will be crucial.

Listen to the full interview with Jack Craw above.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.

RadioLIVE.