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While most of us will be out and about at the beaches over the summer break, spare a thought for those who will spend their free hours in our parks helping visitors understand why it’s imperative to use cleaning stations to stop the spread of kauri dieback.
From this weekend, a team of kauri dieback ambassadors will be out around the region to chat about the importance of cleanliness in stopping kauri dieback disease. They’ll be setting up near cleaning stations at parks and wharves, and spreading the word about the need to stop, scrub and spray your shoes and stay on open tracks.
It’s a continuation of the programme begun earlier this year; however, the team is bigger and ambassadors will be at Waitākere and Hunua Ranges Regional Parks, several Northern regional parks, Kaipātiki local area parks and on Waiheke Island. Ambassadors will also be at the downtown wharf and Half Moon Bay car ferry terminals, talking to people going to Waiheke and other islands with healthy kauri.
The Department of Conservation is joining in this year and their ambassadors will be at Okura and Goldies Bush.
Tracks closed to prevent kauri dieback
The expansion of the programme follows the council’s decision on 5 December to support Te Kawerau ā Maki rāhui in principle. It was decided to immediately close 13 tracks (nine permanently) and it identified another 17 for closure to prevent the spread of kauri dieback.
“Kauri dieback is a deadly disease with no cure, and hygiene is one of the best weapons to stop it spreading,” says Waitākere Ward Councillor Penny Hulse, Chair of the Environment and Community Committee.
“We also urge people to stay away from any closed tracks. These are often closed to protect healthy trees, protection which is vital for the future of kauri."
“The direct engagement and education we get from the ambassador programme is invaluable to getting these messages across to the public.”
So if you’re planning on heading out for a bush walk or hike this summer, consider a park outside of Waitākere Ranges or if you're using an open path in the Waitākere Ranges make sure you keep on the track.
See a list of closed tracks in the Waitākere Ranges.