Significant work to protect the region from Kauri dieback disease
The Kaimai range, with access just 20 minutes away from Tauranga is highly susceptible to the soil bound pathogen, kauri dieback disease, that kills our naturally regenerating kauri trees. It is also one of the last kauri forests in New Zealand with no detectable signs of the disease.
Humans are the number one way in which this disease is spread – on dirt wedged in the soles of our shoes. We can all help protect our forests and parks by brushing, inspecting and disinfecting our shoes when visiting a kauri zone and keeping to the track whenever possible.
In 2018, the Department of Conservation (DOC) Tauranga team received funding to advocate, educate, engage and maintain kauri protection for the Kaimai. They are a key partner of the Kauri Dieback Programme, a collaboration between MPI, DOC, local regional councils and tangata whenua working to build knowledge and capability and develop tools to help prevent the spread of the disease.
So what’s been happening to protect our kauri trees? In 2017, DOC surveyed and assessed the conditions of all tracks in the Kaimai that were within 1.5m of a kauri tree and developed a plan to protect them. This included upgrading tracks, realigning tracks and closing tracks.
The following tracks were permanently closed in 2018:
- Bluff Stream to Waitengaue Track
- Bluff Stream Kauri Track
- Cashmore Clearing Track
- Mangakino Stream Track (Dickey Track County Road)
- Wairoa Stream Track
- Te Rereatukahia Hut Track (Partial closure).
The following tracks received significant upgrades between Nov 2018 – May 2019 and have recently opened to the public:
- Mangakino Pack Track from Daly Clearing junction to Mangakino Shelter
- Waitengaue Stream Track to Upper Waitawheta
- Wharawhara Tramway
- Waiorongomai Track
- Waipapa Track.
The following tracks are still closed for upgrades and expect to be open by end of July 2019:
- Dickey Flat to Dean Track
- Lindemann Loop Track.
Upgrades include re-routing tracks to avoid kauri trees, installing gravelled tracks, geoweb, boxed steps, fencing, boardwalks, staircases and viewing platform. We will also see new automatic wash stations set up this year at priority track entrances throughout the Kaimai.