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Waitākere Ranges Local Board approves closures of local tracks

Published: 29 April 2019

Thirteen local tracks in the Waitākere Ranges are set to be temporarily closed to prevent the spread of kauri dieback and protect healthy kauri, Waitākere Ranges Local Board has agreed.

Analysis of local parks

Following an analysis of all local parks and reserves in the Auckland region by Auckland Council, thirteen walking tracks in the Waitākere Ranges Local Board area were identified as being within proximity to infected kauri or have high-value kauri ecosystems that are at risk of being infected with kauri dieback disease.

Preventing the spread of kauri dieback

Waitākere Ranges Local Board Chair Greg Presland says the decision will bring the local tracks into line with the regional policy of closing tracks to prevent the spread of Kauri dieback.

“Kauri dieback is a devastating disease which we need to do all we can to combat.

“Temporarily closing the local tracks and reserves in areas near to kauri that are already infected or could become infected with kauri dieback disease is an appropriate and responsible step to take.

"The board listened to expert advice from the council biosecurity team and agreed that the temporary closures were the best course of action until we can put mitigation measures in place.

“While we appreciate the inconvenience that this action could cause, it is the best, and currently only, tool we have to help fight kauri dieback and we encourage people to use other open tracks in the regional and local parks instead.

“We have also requested that the timetable for reopening tracks will be reported back to us by July, and that the kauri teams work more closely with the local communities affected by the closures.”

Mitigation responses

Biosecurity Team Manager, Kauri Dieback, Lisa Tolich says “Protection of healthy kauri is the primary objective of council’s kauri dieback management approach.

“Mitigation responses include asset-based solutions such as upgrades and re-routing of tracks as well as non-asset solutions around the planting of natural barriers, mulching and the installation of signage.

“Closures put in place at this stage are temporary and precautionary until further mitigation measures are confirmed later this year.”

Track Closures

The board agreed to endorse the closure of tracks in the following local parks or walks

  • Seibel Scenic Reserve
  • Bill Haresnape Walk
  • Mahoe Walk
  • Opua Reserve
  • Patuora Way
  • Rahui Kahika Reserve
  • Titirangi War Memorial
  • Okewa Reserve
  • Tinopai Reserve – Eric Leigh Hunt Track
  • Wood Bay Reserve – within the bush areas
  • Arama Reserve

It also agreed to the continuing closure of Concordia Reserve, and to close the tracks within the Henderson Valley Scenic Reserve from 31 April.

The closures are due to begin in May.

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