In May, significant closures were put in place in the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park to increase protection of the forest against kauri dieback disease. There are also Controlled Area Notices (CAN) by the Ministry for Primary Industries in place.
In simple terms the CAN requires your footwear and equipment not to have any soil on it when you go into or out of open tracks in the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, and you must not enter any closed tracks.
Spread by soil movement, kauri dieback is a serious disease threatening Auckland’s native kauri population. A microscopic pathogen infects the root of the tree, which then destroys the tissues that carry nutrients and water, before starving the tree to death.
Kauri is a precious native taonga. It is not only a king amongst trees but is the backbone of our forest ecosystem, with 17 other species needing the towering strength of kauri to survive.
Auckland Council is running a ‘My Summer’ campaign, encouraging Aucklanders to explore other parts of the region, and if they are going anywhere near kauri to check if tracks are open and to utilise the cleaning stations where they are available. Auckland is lucky to have more than 4000 parks to explore, 400 of which contain kauri trees.
For visitors the messages around track closures and the use of the cleaning stations can be confusing. As an industry, we can play a key role in ensuring visitors are aware of the closures and why we are taking such strong measures to ‘keep kauri standing’.
Where you can please educate your visitors about where they can find information about the track closures and how critical it is to use the cleaning stations on the remaining open tracks. For printed collateral for your visitor info packs you can download this.
If you would like more information of any kind, please email email@example.com.
Auckland Council has been working with local iwi Te Kawerau ā Maki on a track plan for the park, with work underway to make improvements to some of the closed tracks in order to open them again.