Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Kauri dieback detected in Coromandel

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister of Conservation

Hon Nathan Guy
Minister for Primary Industries

25 March 2014

Kauri dieback detected in Coromandel

Test results showing the presence of Phytophthora taxon Agathis (PTA) or Kauri dieback disease in the Whangapoua Forest just north of Whitianga is a major concern, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy say.

“This is a serious blow to our efforts to conserve kauri and protect it from this disease. I am taking a precautionary approach by immediately closing the affected area to reduce the risk of spread. It will also enable time to determine the extent of the disease and our on-going management of kauri dieback in the wake of this negative news,” Dr Smith says.

“Kauri dieback has been found in Northland, the Waitakere Ranges and on Great Barrier Island, but not on the Coromandel Peninsula. This is a concern because it has not previously been found in the Waikato and there is a large and valued remnant of kauri forests in this region,” Mr Guy says.

Dr Smith today in Whitiangi with MPI and DOC officials briefed local iwi, Coromandel MP Scott Simpson, the Kauri 2000 Trust, local government including the Whitianga Community Board, Thames-Coromandel District Council and the Waikato Regional Council on the test results and the implications for the Coromandel community. Notice of closure to the 319-hectare Whangapoua Forest/Hukarahi Conservation Area was signed today by Dr Smith using Section 13 (1)(c) of the Conservation Act 1987 to take immediate effect.

Kauri dieback disease is caused by a microscopic, fungus-like organism which infects the trees’ roots and damages the tissues that carry nutrients and water within the tree, effectively starving the tree to death. Nearly all infected trees die and there is no known cure, though research is currently underway. Scientific testing late last week confirmed the presence of the disease from two young kauri in the Whangapoua Forest/Hukarahi Conservation Area.

“Kauri is an iconic species for New Zealand and one of the oldest and largest organisms on earth. These massive trees define their forest ecosystem and when they die, other species dependent on them are put at risk. A further problem of PTA is that it kills trees of all ages, including 1000-year-old kauri that are irreplaceable,” Dr Smith says.

“We still do not know enough about the kauri dieback disease and how it spreads. This detection of the disease is in a forest with no public tracks and little public use other than by some pig hunters. The disease has been in New Zealand since the 1950s and was formally identified in 2008. It is possible it has been in this forest unidentified for years,” Mr Guy says.

“We ask the public to do its part to avoid spread of the disease. This means adopting biosecurity measures of cleaning and disinfecting footwear, vehicle tyres and machinery when moving to or from any kauri forests. We also urge walkers to keep to formed tracks. We need to take a precautionary approach of assuming every kauri stand may be infected,” Mr Guy says.

“This detection of kauri dieback is also a setback for the Keep Kauri Standing programme led by MPI and involving DOC, iwi and the four northern regional councils. This programme, set up in 2009, was initially established through to June 2014. It was reviewed last year and we were planning a ramping-up of this work in the next financial year prior to this discovery. This work will now need to be brought forward with urgency,” Dr Smith concluded.

For more information:
1. Frequently asked questions
2. Map: Kauri dieback disease sites nationwide
3. Map: Kauri dieback disease in Whangapoua Forest

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And
Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the Resource Management Act.

Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing, which happens to be another of the government’s most contentious, most ideologically-driven policy packages. Presumably, Key will be trying not to double down on the rhetoric, and thereby leave room for Labour leader Andrew Little to sound like the centrist voice of reason.

Key will have his work cut out, though. More>>

 

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news