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Kauri dieback meetings

25 August 2014

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE USE

PROTECT YOUR LOCAL KAURI FROM DIEBACK DISEASE

Coromandel and Western Bay of Plenty residents are being urged to support meetings in Whangamata, Thames, Coromandel and Whitianga this weekend aimed at establishing a network of local groups to protect kauri in the Coromandel and Kaimai Ranges.

The aim of this new initiative is to enable locals to take practical action in their own communities to combat kauri dieback disease and foster the health of kauri throughout the Coromandel Peninsula.

Interim Coromandel Kauri Dieback Forum chair Vivienne McLean says everyone can make an important practical contribution, from practising – and spreading the word about - good hygiene practices through to putting up signs and keeping disinfectant stations filled.

“The disease is here, and there is no known cure, but if we act now and work together we can limit its spread. It would be a disaster if kauri dieback were to spread further through Coromandel forests, and community-based effort will be the key to protecting our kauri,” she says. “We are hoping to appeal to a wide cross-section of locals, in particular iwi, tourism operators and accommodation providers, tramping clubs, hunters, farmers, schools, Scouts, service clubs, nurseries, pest and weed control contractors, multi-sports event organisers... everyone has a part to play in protecting our kauri.”

Ms McLean says the Forum won’t take over the role of government agencies, but will complement the reach and resources of the national Kauri Dieback Management Programme. It intends to employ a coordinator to work with local groups, and recently received funding towards this from the Department of Conservation’s Community Conservation Partnerships Fund.

“We are grateful for this funding as it will enable us support people in the community where it matters, to hold regular forum meetings to share knowledge, ideas and resources, and to keep everyone up to date with the latest research and strategies coming out of the national programme.

The inaugural meetings are open to everyone with an interest in protecting Coromandel and Kaimai kauri. Each meeting will include an update on the situation on the Coromandel Peninsula, national initiatives and the latest research into this deadly disease, as well as workshops where people will identify what is needed to protect their local kauri, and who can help in their community.

Meeting details are:

Saturday, 30th August: 9:00 am to 12.00pm at the Whangamata Hall, Whangamata

1:30 pm to 4:30 pm at Grahamstown Community Hall, Thames

Sunday, 31st August: 9:30 am to 12:30 pm at Coromandel Area School, Coromandel

2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Town Hall, Whitianga

Anyone interested in attending please RSVP to Kauri 2000 by Friday 29 August – phone 07 866 0468 or email info@kauri2000.co.nz with your contact details.

Ends

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