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Independent panel and kauri consultation hui launched

Media Release

25 June 2018

A new independent panel announced today will strengthen efforts to protect New Zealand’s iconic forest giant, at the same time as public consultation gets underway to further boost those efforts.

Biosecurity New Zealand’s Roger Smith, Chair of the Kauri Dieback Programme Governance Group, says the Accelerating Protection for Kauri Independent Panel will bring further focus, insight and leadership to drive the programme already underway.

“I’m delighted to announce the appointment of the panel members, who bring extensive experience, skill, mana and a shared passion in our mission to save the kauri,” Mr Smith says. “Collectively, they represent a wide range of interests and strong expertise in the fields of biosecurity, environmental science, conservation, research, policy, Māori development, management and leadership.”

The panel’s role will be to bring a new perspective to the management of kauri dieback disease and provide advice to the Kauri Dieback Programme Governance Group to assist with key decisions.

Also from today (Monday 25 June), public consultation opens to gather feedback on the future direction for managing kauri dieback. This will include hui and community meetings in Northland, Auckland and Thames from next week (July 2). The process gives people a chance to have their say and contribute thoughts and ideas, which will ultimately help enhance protection efforts.

The hui begin in Northland on Monday 2 & 3 July, before heading to Auckland on 4 July, wrapping up in Thames on Thursday 5 & 6 July. They are open to everyone.

Public feedback can also be provided from today via email or in writing though the kauri dieback website www.kauridieback.co.nz. Details of the hui and meeting venues can also be found on the website. Consultation closes on 16 July.

Mr Smith says the consultation will help get a big picture view for managing kauri dieback that will feed into development of the National Pest Management Plan, one of a range of tougher measures announced by the Government late last year to help combat the disease.

“The purpose of the hui is to get ideas and feedback to ultimately strengthen, refresh and enhance the national strategy and drive development of the pest management plan. It will also support the accelerated programme of work already underway to help combat the spread of kauri dieback.

“Collective action is needed to identify new ways and actions to protect kauri, and everyone who wants to should take the chance to have their say.”

The public hui and meetings mark the first of three rounds of public consultation, with this round focusing on refreshing the strategy for managing the disease. Mr Smith says the following two rounds later this year will consider what the National Pest Management Plan could look like and ways to action it.

Editor’s note: independent panel members are:

• Dr Barry O’Neil (Chair): Director, Bio-Protection Research Centre.

• Kevin Prime: Environment Court Commissioner

• Maree McEntee: Social Scientist, University of Auckland

• Lindsay Bulman: Science Leader, Forest Protection, Scion


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