MPI too petrified to do anything about Kauri dieback - expert

Drive 03/07/2018
Tane Mahuta. Photo credit: Getty.

Tane Mahuta, the 2000-year-old forest giant, could be on death row if more is not done to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease.

The iconic Kauri tree in the Far North's Waipoua forest is the largest known of its kind. Tane's trunk is almost 14 metres round and the tree stands at a staggering 50 metres plus.

For those lucky enough to see Tane Mahuta, there is no denying it is an outstanding tourist attraction.

But experts say this mammoth tree could be infected within a year if we don’t treat Kauri dieback like the plague it is.

Dr Peter De Lange from Unitec is an expert on threatened flora. He told RadioLIVE Drive that Kauri dieback is a very serious threat to our forests.

No exaggeration – this is real.

“This is a 100 percent fatal disease. So it’s serious beyond belief,” he said.

“Kauri is a tree but it’s actually an ecosystem engineer. So it’s not only Kauri that we are looking at potentially going extinct but it’s all the animals and plants that’s actually dependent on it.”

But Dr De Lange says MPI are not the right people to fix the problem. He believes they are so petrified of making a mistake they are not doing anything at all.

Listen the the full interview with Peter De Lange above.

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