The closure Logues Bush Scenic Reserve is supported by a rāhui (temporary access ban) put down by local iwi Ngati Manuhiri representatives Mook Hohneck and Ringi Brown.
The Department of Conservation reserve is a highly infected site for kauri dieback, a disease ravaging New Zealand's forest giants.
"DOC is taking an active approach to managing kauri dieback. We are starting work on a 735km, 200 track mitigation project to protect kauri from dieback in February 2016. We also provide boot-spray and cleaning facilities at popular track entrances, provide public education on how to reduce the spread of the disease and contribute to a multi-agency effort," says Antony Maidment, DOC Services Manager Warkworth.
"We accept and support all practical measures, including Rahui and closures, which may help stop the spread of kauri dieback. The action by Ngati Manuhiri in applying customary practice measures to protect their own taonga makes good sense."
"Positive actions by Iwi and other private landowners and forest owners will support DOC's own approach to preventing the spread of this disease."
Kauri dieback, caused by the microscopic spore Phytophthora taxon Agathis (PTA), attacks the tree's roots and destroys tissues which carry water and nutrients, gradually starving kauri to death. Nearly all infected trees die and there is currently no cure.
PTA can be spread easily through mud and water contaminating footwear, vehicle tyres and machinery without proper disinfection. Having people clean mud from footwear and equipment before and after entering a kauri forest is currently the best solution we have to stop the spread of the disease.
Meanwhile, the multi-agency Kauri Dieback Management Programme continues research into the cause of the disease, its spread and possible treatments.
About kauri dieback
Kauri dieback is the deadly kauri disease caused by Phytophthora taxon Agathis (or PTA). It is specific to New Zealand kauri and can kill trees of all ages.
Microscopic spores in the soil infect kauri roots and damage the tissues that carry nutrients within the tree. Infected trees show a range of symptoms including yellowing of foliage, loss of leaves, canopy thinning, dead branches and lesions that bleed gum at the base of the trunk.
Nearly all infected kauri die. In the past 10 years, kauri dieback has killed thousands of kauri in New Zealand. Scientists are currently working to find control tools for this disease but there is no known treatment at this time.
The collaborative effort to address kauri dieback includes Tāngata Whenua, Ministry for Primary Industries, the Department of Conservation, Northland Regional Council, Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
Read more information on kauri dieback.