It’s been a respectable start to summer in the kauri forests of the region.
The stunning weather over the holiday season bought leisure walkers, runners and hikers out in droves to enjoy the great outdoors.
Between Christmas Day and 3 January, kauri dieback ambassadors and compliance officers interacted with over 1000 people in mostly an educational capacity.
What was pleasing to park staff was the majority of those engaged with understood why track closures were in place and were interested in information about the disease.
Licensing and Regulatory Compliance lead Jesse Hindt says, “It’s good to see most people are paying attention to the message, staying out of closed areas and protecting kauri.
"Overall, they’re doing all the right things; unfortunately, there are still those few who feel the rules aren’t for them.”
As many as 14 people will be receiving Bylaw Breach and Trespass Notices for entering closed areas. Another four can expect formal warnings as checks continue.
The two areas leading the way for offending were the Henderson Valley Scenic Reserve and the Point View Reserve in Howick where locals were more likely to chance their arm on an early morning run or walk or an afternoon dip.
A concern observed over the holiday period is the rising incidence in vandalism. Closed area fences have been cut, damaged or removed.
“It’s disappointing a few selfish individuals are focused only on their own recreational pursuits,” says Manager Regional Parks Rachel Kelleher.
“It’s staggering the length a small number of people will go to for their own personal benefit. Their behaviour means staff focus and resources are diverted away from getting on with the work needed to reopen tracks for everyone to enjoy to repairing those that have been damaged,” she adds.
Kauri dieback ambassadors and compliance officers will continue to be out and about over the summer.
Keep our kauri standing
Kauri dieback in Auckland is a serious problem and it’s important we all play our part to prevent the spread of the disease.
To help keep our kauri standing for future generations, the forested areas of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park have been closed until further notice. Some higher-risk tracks in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park have also been closed as a proactive measure to prevent the introduction of kauri dieback disease into the park, where it has not yet been detected.
Controlled Area Notices (CANs) are in place across the currently open tracks within the forested area of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park and the whole of the native forested area of the Hunua Ranges regional parkland.
Aucklanders and visitors to the region are advised to find alternatives to get out and enjoy what our beautiful backyard has to offer.
If you enter or leave a forest/area with native trees anywhere across the region, here are three easy steps you need to remember:
- Scrub– clean all soil off your footwear and other gear.
- Spray– your footwear and gear at every cleaning station you encounter. Kauri dieback can be spread by just a pinhead of soil.
- Stay– on the designated open tracks.