Signs to save kauri

Waipa Post - - News -

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

The signs, which have been 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. It is an­tic­i­pated that 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 co-or­di­nates 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.

“We know through our be­havioural re­search to date that while there is gen­er­ally a high level of aware­ness of the threat of kauri dieback dis­ease, un­for­tu­nately this does not al­ways flow through into peo­ple do­ing the right thing when they visit kauri forests,” says John.

“The new signs give a more di­rect mes­sage that if peo­ple are stop­ping to en­joy our kauri forests, 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 of the 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 along State High­way 12, home of Tane Mahuta and other iconic trees.

It is hoped that more signs can be rolled out across other kauri re­gions pend­ing fur­ther dis­cus­sions with the NZ Trans­port Agency and other stake­hold­ers.

“Thanks to the sup­port of the trans­port agency, we’re able get this first batch of signs up in time for the busier sum­mer pe­riod when typ­i­cally more peo­ple are on the road and vis­it­ing kauri lands.”

John says the signs are one small part of a much wider on­go­ing pro­gramme.

“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 NZ and DoC to bet­ter un­der­stand what de­signs and sig­nage most ef­fec­tively drive com­pli­ance at clean­ing sta­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.