Auckland Council and Kaipātiki Local Board will on Monday 3 September start to close a number of vulnerable tracks and some reserves in the Kaipātiki area, to protect against further spread of kauri dieback disease.
These closures come after the confirmation last month of the disease on trees in Kauri Park and Muriel Fisher Reserve, Birkenhead. Since then, Auckland Council has carried out a risk assessment in the area and has determined that several tracks should be closed.
Auckland Council Biosecurity Manager Phil Brown says that with the disease now present in the area, other nearby kauri are at risk.
“Our objective across the region is to protect significant stands of kauri that do not have the disease, of which there are many in the Kaipātiki area," he says.
“After the disease was discovered, we had to think strategically about our next steps to contain it within the area. We have listened to the strong concerns from Kaipātiki Local Board and community and made the decision to temporarily close tracks as a preventive measure.
Closures in place for three to six months
“At this stage the closures will be in place for three to six months, while tracks are assessed and prioritised for upgrade works or re-routing. We’ll then aim to get upgraded tracks re-opened as soon as possible.
Kaipātiki Local Board Chair John Gillon says the board is delighted to see the council implement these closures after pushing hard for them over the past months.
“Kaipātiki Local Board has worked alongside the community to see these proactive measures put in place for the protection of our precious kauri," he says.
“We requested that council staff work with Pest Free Kaipātiki and other local groups to determine what tracks be closed, to ensure community involvement and expertise on this crucial issue. Thank you to council officers for prioritising these vulnerable areas.
“We are aware of the inconvenience these closures will have on recreational activities but ask locals and the public to please respect these closures and take alternative routes or explore the wide range of non-kauri parks we are lucky enough to have in our area.”
Community support vital to help kauri
North Shore Ward Councillor Richard Hills says the support of the Kaipātiki community is crucial to the effectiveness of the closures.
“As a community, we are passionate about protecting our local environment. I have confidence that we will unite to make this a success.
"We heard loud and clear during the 10-year budget consultation that residents wanted action. I am glad we were able to create the budgets to do this crucial work. I want to thank the local board, council staff, and all the local volunteers for all their work on this.
"While it is never ideal to have tracks closed, this inconvenience will have enormous benefits in ensuring these significant kauri will be around to enjoy for many years to come.”
Contractors will begin to implement these closures today and they will be completed over the next few days.
Barriers and signage will be placed at affected track and reserve entrances.
Find out more
Always clean your footwear and equipment before entering kauri areas and after leaving and use any footwear cleaning stations you encounter on you visit. Please always stick to designated open tracks.