New signs warn of kauri dieback

Waihi Leader - - News -

New road signs call­ing on trav­ellers to take ac­tion to pro­tect kauri are be­ing in­stalled as part of the on­go­ing cam­paign to save the na­tional taonga from kauri dieback dis­ease.

The signs, erected ini­tially in parts of the Coro­man­del and soon in North­land, alert road users they are en­ter­ing a kauri pro­tec­tion area, and re­in­force the need to clean footwear and equip­ment when en­ter­ing and leav­ing kauri forests.

More signs will also be rolled out to other kauri re­gions in fu­ture.

“The pur­pose of the signs is to help build a stronger mes­sage around the im­por­tance of fol­low­ing the clean­ing steps when any­one visits kauri lands,” says John San­son, man­ager of re­cov­ery and pest man­age­ment for Biose­cu­rity New Zealand, which co­or­di­nates the na­tional Kauri Dieback Pro­gramme along­side part­ner agen­cies and groups.

“This is be­cause peo­ple are still the big­gest fac­tor in spread­ing the dis­ease, through con­tam­i­nated soil be­ing col­lected on boots and gear.

San­son says the new signs give “a more di­rect mes­sage” to vis­i­tors.

“They need to al­ways clean their footwear and equip­ment if we are to en­sure kauri will still be around for the next gen­er­a­tion of vis­i­tors.”

Six signs have al­ready been placed along high traf­fic lo­ca­tions in parts of the Coro­man­del, while two of the new signs are due to be placed at en­try points to North­land’s Waipoua For­est on State High­way 12, home of Ta¯ne Mahuta and other iconic trees.

More signs are likely to be rolled out across other kauri re­gions pend­ing fur­ther dis­cus­sions with theNZ Trans­port Agency and other stake­hold­ers.

Mr San­son says the signs are one small part of a much wider on­go­ing pro­gramme of work be­ing co­or­di­nated by the kauri dieback part­ner­ship, which in­cludes the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion (DOC), Tan­gata Whenua Roopu, Te Roroa iwi, Auck­land Coun­cil, and the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and North­land Re­gional Coun­cils.

“The work pro­gramme to fight kauri dieback is con­tin­u­ing across many fronts, which in­cludes ini­tia­tives such as up­graded tracks and clean­ing sta­tions in high use ar­eas, track clo­sures, on­go­ing ae­rial surveil­lance, test­ing and field tri­als, and con­tin­ued in­vest­ment in science and re­search.”

Fur­ther re­search is planned this sum­mer by Biose­cu­rity New Zealand and DOC to bet­ter un­der­stand what de­signs and sig­nage most ef­fec­tively drive com­pli­ance at clean­ing sta­tions.

These re­sults will pro­vide valu­able in­sight to all pro­gramme part­ners and com­mu­ni­ties in de­vel­op­ing their wider com­mu­ni­ca­tions and be­havioural change tools.

They need to al­ways clean their footwear and equip­ment if we are to en­sure kauri will still be around for the next vis­i­tors.’ gen­er­a­tion of

JOHN SAN­SON Biose­cu­rity New Zealand

PHOTO / MPI.

New sign in­stalled in the Coro­man­del re­gion.

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