Fi­nal round for kauri con­sul­ta­tion

The Northland Age - - Local News -

A third and fi­nal round of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion has be­gun on a new na­tional plan and op­tions for the best type of agency to pro­tect kauri as ef­forts to deal with kauri dieback dis­ease gather mo­men­tum.

“Kauri face a sig­nif­i­cant threat from dieback dis­ease, and in­tro­duc­ing a na­tional pest man­age­ment plan is one of the strong­est mea­sures we can take un­der the Biose­cu­rity Act to pro­tect them,” said Roger Smith, head of Biose­cu­rity New Zealand.

“The de­ci­sions we make to­day on the plan, rules, strat­egy and agency will be crit­i­cal to the fu­ture of kauri, which are a taonga for Ma¯ori and all New Zealan­ders.”

Biose­cu­rity New Zealand was Venues for the next and fi­nal round of kauri dieback dis­ease con­sul­ta­tion will in­clude Manga­muka Marae (9.30am) and Te Ahu, in

co-or­di­nat­ing the fi­nal round of con­sul­ta­tion, which fol­lowed two rounds last year that had helped to shape the pro­pos­als.

The or­gan­ism Phy­toph­thora agath­idi­cida (PA), which caused the dis­ease, could be spread on the boots and equip­ment of peo­ple vis­it­ing kauri forests. There was no known cure for the dis­ease once a tree was in­fected. Kaitaia (7pm), on Satur­day week (March 2), fol­lowed by the Wood­lands Con­fer­ence Cen­tre in Kerik­eri at 7pm on Sun­day March 3.

The cur­rent ap­proach to man­ag­ing its spread had mainly re­lied on vol­un­tary com­pli­ance, which Mr Smith said would change un­der a Na­tional Pest Man­age­ment Plan.

It was pro­posed that the plan would be sup­ported by new reg­u­la­tions re­quir­ing peo­ple, for ex­am­ple, to use ap­proved clean­ing sta­tions at tracks, and en­sure soil was re­moved and equip­ment sani­tised when leav­ing or en­ter­ing forests.

Some land own­ers may be re­quired to de­velop kauri dieback man­age­ment plans and other con­trols for their prop­er­ties.

Fail­ure to fol­low those rules could re­sult in fines.

“Reg­u­la­tions and fines are a sig­nif­i­cant step up in our ap­proach to man­ag­ing kauri dieback, but the com­mu­nity told us it is needed if we are se­ri­ous about stop­ping the spread of the dis­ease,” Mr Smith added.

“We are also con­sult­ing on two pos­si­ble op­tions for the na­tional agency that will im­ple­ment the pest man­age­ment plan.

“One op­tion is for the agency to be a govern­ment de­part­ment, the other is to cre­ate a not-for­profit Crown-owned com­pany,” he said.

“We en­cour­age any­one in­ter­ested in the fu­ture of kauri to get in­volved in this fi­nal round of con­sul­ta­tion, as it’s your last chance to shape our kauri dieback strat­egy be­fore we make rec­om­men­da­tions to min­is­ters.

“A se­ries of meet­ings and hui at lo­cal venues and marae are planned through­out the kau­ri­lands over com­ing weeks.

“This will be an op­por­tu­nity to hear more about our plans, how they will work and the im­pact on you and your com­mu­nity.”

Fur­ther details of the con­sul­ta­tion can be found at www.kau­ri­dieback.co.nz.

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