Labour Weekend means more Aucklanders emerging from winter hibernation to enjoy the beautiful parks and open spaces the region has to offer.
Stephen Bell, Western Principal Ranger encourages people to explore the region but to keep kauri protection top of mind this weekend.
“Kauri dieback disease is a serious issue for the Auckland region and Kauri Lands generally. "it’s vitally important each one of us takes steps to protect this precious taonga.
“Auckland Council has been working hard to enable people to get safely back into the forested areas, but we need your help. Stick to open tracks only, stay on track and please use the hygiene facilities provided whenever you pass them. If you are walking your dog/s in bush areas, keep them on track and on a lead.”
“To keep our kauri standing, we all need to do our part. It’s not difficult and it will make a difference.
“Please respect the closures in place across both our local and regional parks. They are there for a reason and if you choose to break the rules, you are putting Kauri in those areas at risk.
“We understand the frustration for many people at not being able to walk their favourite track, but we’re lucky in Auckland that there are plenty of other places to visit.”
If people do ignore the closed tracks signs, expect to be slapped with a trespass notice. Repeat offenders may be prosecuted and face maximum penalties of; $20,000 (Local Government Act) and $1,000 or 3 months prison under the Trespass Act.
What is kauri dieback disease?
Kauri dieback disease spreads through spores in soil. The disease infects the tree through its roots and damages the tissues that carry nutrients within the tree. Almost all infected kauri die.
While scientists are working hard to find control tools for the disease, there is currently no known cure.
This means that right now, the best thing we can all do is to ensure that we don’t carry any soil into, or out of, areas with kauri.
What do I need to do when visiting areas with kauri?
Auckland Council has closed a number of high-risk kauri tracks and areas across Auckland.
Find out tracks and areas that are closed here.
However, if you do visit an open kauri area, here are some simple steps to follow:
Firstly, check your footwear and gear before you leave home to ensure they are clean and soil-free.
Always Scrub, Spray, Stay!
- Scrub your shoes and equipment (including bike tyres, pram wheels) to remove all soil
- Spray the soles of your shoes and equipment with Sterigene disinfectant
- Stay on open tracks (and away from kauri tree roots)
Even if your footwear and gear look soil-free, set a good example for yourself and others and always use the cleaning stations.
Please let Auckland Council know if you come across any cleaning stations that need refills.