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Local board says making Waitākere Ranges a national park will not help kauri – more funding will

Published: 18 August 2017

The Waitākere Ranges Local Board says more funding is the answer to fighting kauri dieback disease – not turning the Waitākere Ranges into a national park as recently suggested by Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett.

The minister was commenting in relation to the recent report on the spread of kauri dieback disease in the Waitākere Ranges and said that more resources could be made available if the ranges were made a national park.

Waitākere Ranges Local Board Deputy Chair Saffron Toms opposes that idea and says the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area Act 2008 already designates the area as a special place.

“While we commend the Deputy Prime Minister’s sentiment to protect the Waitākere Ranges, particularly to help combat kauri dieback, the act passed by Parliament was decades in the making and seeks to preserve the unique environmental and cultural heritage of the ranges. Kauri are an extremely important part of that heritage.

“There is no reason that the government could not direct more funding right now towards fighting kauri dieback. Indeed, we encourage the government to allocate substantial funds quickly to this, otherwise we could lose this precious species forever.”

Waitākere Ward Councillor and Environment and Community Committee Chair Penny Hulse would like to see more research on kauri dieback and more action to curb its spread.

“Kauri dieback is a grave threat. More needs to be done, and urgently. We’d welcome an opportunity to meet with the Deputy Prime Minister and the relevant officials to discuss how central and local government can work together to fight this disease.”