The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released a major new survey that found an overwhelming proportion of New Zealanders consider that preventing the spread of kauri dieback is of high importance.
Almost 90 per cent of all those surveyed by Colmar Brunton agreed that it is “important” or “very important” to manage kauri dieback, even given the other threats to kauri forests.
The survey found that 43 per cent of forest users are committed enough to stopping kauri dieback to have asked others to take action to prevent its spread.
In addition, 67 per cent were found to be aware of kauri dieback, as opposed to just 31 per cent in 2011.
Auckland Council Biosecurity Manager Brett Butland is encouraged by the results.
“It’s great to know people genuinely care about the wellbeing of our native kauri – it means they are more likely to do their part to help keep our forests safe.“
However, 10 per cent of those who said they had not been near kauri in the previous year proved to have been mistaken, indicating the need for more awareness about where kauri trees are located and how the disease can be managed.
“The key for us is providing Aucklanders with the information they need to help fight the spread of this killer disease. Affected areas here in Auckland include Rodney and the Waitākere Ranges, so an important step for users is to clean footwear and other gear before and after entering native forests in these areas.
“It’s also important to remember that the disease is not just found in forests, but on private land as well. If you have any suspicions about kauri on your property being infected, contact us immediately and we can work together to prevent further spreading.
“Humans are the number one way in which kauri dieback disease is spread. The good news is, our actions can go a long way in helping to prevent more kauri from becoming infected.”
To find out more about how we’re working to save our kauri forests, as well as information on how to spot the disease, visit the Auckland Council website. To report suspected cases of kauri dieback, call 0800 NZ KAURI or email firstname.lastname@example.org.