Tāne Mahuta, the largest living kauri tree in New Zealand
Image: Scott Benjamin | Creative Commons

Introduction

DOC is responsible for protecting kauri on public conservation land and other land it manages, including many of New Zealand’s most significant kauri forests.

Highlights

This work is part of a wider, joint agency response, led by the Ministry of Primary Industries. 

About kauri dieback disease

Kauri dieback can kill kauri of all ages. It is a disease caused by a microscopic fungus-like organism, called Phytophthora agathidicida (PTA). It lives in the soil and infects kauri roots, damaging the tissues that carry nutrients and water within the tree, effectively starving to death.

There’s currently no cure or treatment, and nearly all infected kauri die.

The disease is easily spread through soil movements, eg when soil is carried on dirty footwear, animals, equipment and vehicles.

We can only save our kauri forests by containing the disease and stopping it spreading to other areas.

Kauri dieback disease is found in the upper North Island. See the exact locations on the kauri dieback website

What you can do to stop the spread
  • Stay on the track and off kauri roots.
  • Clean all soil off your footwear and other gear – every time you enter or leave an area with native trees, and at every cleaning station.
  • Use disinfectant only after removing all the soil.
  • Spread the word within your networks on how to stop kauri dieback. 
  • Get involved with the Kauri 2000 Trust.

Find out more

Why it matters

Kauri are among the longest living tree species in the world. They can reach ages of more than 1,000 years. They are also among the world's largest trees. These giants can reach heights of over 50 m, with girths of more than 13 m.

Kauri are a cornerstone of the indigenous forests of the upper North Island and are a taonga species for Māori. They are important for our:

  • ecosystem
  • historic heritage
  • cultural values
  • tourism industry
  • national identity.

Kauri Dieback Programme

DOC is part of a joint agency response, which is led by the Ministry for Primary Industries. The Kauri Dieback Programme was established in 2009. It’s a collaborative partnership between the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the kaitiaki of areas where kauri are found. The programme includes representatives from:

  • MPI (chair and lead agency)
  • DOC
  • tangata whenua (via the Tangata Whenua Roopu)
  • councils in the upper North Island within kauri’s natural range:
    • Waikato Regional Council
    • Northland Regional Council
    • Bay of Plenty Regional Council
    • Auckland.

DOC’s role

DOC is responsible for protecting kauri on the land we manage. This includes many of New Zealand’s most significant kauri forests.

In 2014, we were allocated an extra $21.634 million in funding to help manage the spread of kauri dieback. This is comprised of $10.7 million capital and $10.9 million operating, spread over three years.

The work is led by our Kauri Dieback Recreation Project team, who take guidance and coordination from the wider Kauri Dieback Programme led by MPI.

The project’s work plan includes:

  • upgrading tracks to eliminate muddy sections and protect kauri roots
  • re-routing tracks to avoid kauri
  • changing the allowable recreational use of tracks and, in some locations, closing the tracks
  • improving signage
  • installing footwear cleaning stations at track entrances
  • education and behaviour change.

Progress to date

So far, we've surveyed the entire 735 km network of DOC-managed tracks in kauri forests. This involved assessing the condition of the tracks, mapping all kauri within 1.5 m of a track.

Having identified 186 tracks for possible upgrade or closure, we're now in the second year of a three-year track upgrade programme.

In 2016/17 we upgraded 26 high-priority tracks, equating to 56 km of track. In 2017/18, we’re upgrading 37 priority tracks, bringing the total to nearly 180 km.  Alongside that, 15 tracks have been closed, and a further 41 tracks are earmarked for possible closure or partial closure.

Over recent years, we’ve also trialled hygiene control methods and cleaning stations, monitoring and evaluating them for efficacy. In late 2015/early 2016, we installed four prototype cleaning stations in Northland and the Coromandel. We've since developed and further refined an enhanced 'Mark 2' prototype, which will be rolled out from early 2018.

About the Tane Mahuta cleaning station

More information

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