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

'Tea Break Bill' Passes: Gordon Campbell On Bad Labour Laws And Poor Safety

By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port owners.

The Port of Tauranga for instance, is expecting its current full-year profit to be between $78 million and $83 million and other ports are enjoying similar boom times – but they are also highly dangerous places for the people who work on or around the port premises. At the Port of Tauranga, there have been 26 serious accidents since 2011, and two deaths. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

No Charges: Outcome Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area... More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news