Auckland Council’s Environment and Community Committee will meet today to decide what actions the council will take to stop the spread of kauri dieback disease in the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park.
Nick Beveridge, Forest and Bird Regional Manager is urging Auckland Council to support a rāhui and to enforce the closure of the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park.
"Kauri is a keystone species in the park, and in all kauri forests, and if they die many other species will also disappear,” says Beveridge.
“Once the park is closed to people, essential upgrades can then take place such as upgrading tracks to keep people away from kauri roots and improving cleaning stations so that people cannot ignore them on their way to tracks. These upgrades should not just be the responsibility of Auckland Council. This should be a national multi-agency response from the government with the resources to back it up.”
Beveridge says the closure would only be a temporary option until the upgrades are made.
Without the upgrades, the kauri in the Waitākere Ranges could be lost forever.
"It is not just the future of kauri forests in the Waitākere Ranges that are at risk here. This is a risk to all the forests of Auckland and indeed the country, as visitors to our parks this summer tramp the disease throughout kaurilands - from Northland to Waikato."
"The government needs to see the situation in the Waitākere Ranges as a national problem and step in to help," says Beveridge.