Warning NZ 'going to lose kauri for the next generation'




A stark warning from Auckland Council that all kauri in the Waitakere Ranges face extinction has prompted community groups to call for a complete closure of the regional park.

Auckland Council has issued a stark warning over the future of the tree in the Waitakere Ranges.
Source: 1 NEWS

A report commissioned from the council shows a rapid acceleration in kauri dieback disease.

Mel Barton from the Tree Council environmental group says the consequences of not banning the Waitakere Ranges from the public is permanent.

"It's unconscionable that us as a generation are going to lose kauri for the next generation," Barton says.

Forest and Bird chief executive Kevin Hague agrees with the dour assessment.

"We run a serious risk of losing kauri on our watch, of this tree becoming extinct in Aotearoa New Zealand," Hague says

"Certainly Waitakere ranges are ground zero for the disease."

A new report from Auckland Council’s warns kauri dieback could see the end of all kauri in the 16,000 hectare regional park.

In 2011 about eight per cent of karui were infected with dieback, and by 2016 that figure had more than doubled to 19 per cent.

There's now calls from environmental groups for the closure of all tracks in the park, to stop the spread of the soil and water borne pathogen which causes the disease.

But Auckland Council says that's not possible because the park hosts a million visitors a year.

"If we just take a tough stance and close the park tomorrow, people will still go and visit it and they'll probably do it in a way that isn't all that safe so let's have a different approach,"Auckland Councillor for the Waitakere ward Penny Hulse said. 

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