Kauri Dieback

Here's what we've been doing and what you can do to stop Kauri dieback disease spreading

Keep Kauri Standing in the Coromandel

Kauri dieback is a fungus-like disease that infects kauri trees of all ages and has killed thousands of kauri in the last 15 years. It is specific to New Zealand kauri.

There is no known cure.

Kauri dieback has been identified at only six locations on the Coromandel. One at Hukarahi in the Conservation Area, just north of Whitianga township, one on private land just north of Tairua and four locations on private land in the Whangapoua catchment.

Notice to close the Hukarahi Conservation Area was signed off by government in  March 2014. It took effect immediately and was done in consultation with local iwi Ngati Hei, the Mercury Bay Community Board, and both our Council and the Regional Council.

The infected sites within the Whangapoua are all on privately owned land which reduces the spread of disease. However, such sites are close to New Chum Beach where visitors are known to trespass. We must all play our part in stopping this behaviour as it has the ability to spread kauri dieback to other areas of the Coromandel which would be devastating.

What are we doing about it?

The Department of Conservation and Waikato Regional Council biosecurity officers have been soil sampling across the Coromandel, to date Kauri dieback hasn't been detected in any other areas of the Coromandel.

Special boot cleaning stations have been installed at major entrances to Coromandel forest walks for visitors and walkers to clean their boots before entering our forests. These include key DOC tracks, at either end of the Long Bay walkway near Coromandel Town, at the Mount Sea Road entrance to John William Hall Arboretum in Thames and at the entrance to Karaka Track in Thames.

Additionally, areas of the walk that are situated close to kauri have been boardwalked so that people's feet no longer have the ability to come into contact with soil and kauri's fine feeding roots.

DOC is increasing the number of cleaning stations at track entrances and upgrading tracks. In places, some tracks have been closed or rerouted. Check the DOC website for track information.

The track upgrades have commenced with existing tracks being replaced with material designed to significantly improve drainage and prevent wet, muddy areas. Additionaly, boardwalks will be installed in areas subject to high visitor numbers.

What is kauri dieback?

Kauri dieback is caused by Phytophthera Agathadiciaa, a water mould or chromist which destroys the kauri's feeting roots.

What does it do to kauri trees?

Microscopic spores in the soil infect kauri roots and damage the tissues that carry nutrients within the tree effectively starving the tree to death. Infected trees show a range of symptoms including yellowing of foliage, loss of leaves, canopy thinning, dead branches and bleeding lesions at the base of the trunk. All trees that become infected die.

Some infected trees can show canopy dieback and even be killed without any bleeding leisions, whilst other trees has exhibited excessive bleeds around the diametre of the tree's trunk.

What can I do to help keep Coromandel Kauri Standing? 

  • Ensure footwear, other gear and machinery are free of soil prior to entering areas where kauri are present
  • Always use the cleaning stations provided before entering and leaving the track even if your footwear and gear are clean - set a good example!
  • Keep to the defined tracks
  • Avoid muddy areas and puddles
  • Stay away from the base of kauri trees as the feeding roots lie just below the soil's surface
  • Do not enter tracks that have been closed to the public

You can also clean and remove soil from your dog's paws, horses hooves or mountain bike before and after entering kauri forest areas, just as you clean your shoes and boots.

For more information on what else you can do, please see www.kauridieback.co.nz