The Department of Conservation (DOC) will be closing 21 tracks across kauri land to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease, Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced in a statement today.
An additional 10 tracks will be partially closed and the open sections upgraded to stop wet and muddy sections of the track, as well as to better protect the roots of the trees.
"As there is currently no proven cure for kauri dieback, the best way to protect our kauri is to slow and stop the disease from spreading," Ms Sage said.
"The Department is closing or partially closing tracks in Kaitaia, the Kauri Coast, Whangārei, on Aotea/Great Barrier Island, in Hauraki, Waikato, and Tauranga. The track closures are permanent and will be monitored."
Ms Sage acknowledged that some members of the public may be disappointed in the tracks' closure, but said she would like to "strongly encourage everyone to do the right thing and respect the track closures to reduce the risk to kauri forests".
The decision was made following public consultation, with the majority of the public approving of the tracks' closure.
"Closures may be reconsidered in the future if additional science and other information provide certainty that public access would not cause any risk to kauri," she said.