Kaimai track upgrade to prevent kauri dieback

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DOC is upgrading tracks in the Kaimai Range to prevent the spread of kauri dieback. Photo of Tane Mahuta
DOC is upgrading tracks in the Kaimai Range to prevent the spread of kauri dieback. Photo of Tane Mahuta

The Department of Conservation has begun its programme of upgrading tracks in the Kaimai Range to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback.

Tuahu East Track is one of approximately 200 tracks in the kauri region identified for upgrade.

The track will be closed on October 25 while contractors complete the upgrade. Work is expected to take about six weeks.

There will be signage at the track entrance and notifications posted on the Department of Conservation (DOC) website to keep the public informed.

DOC operations manager Jeff Milham said he was happy to announce the start of the work to safeguard the kauri forest in the Tauranga area.

"We are grateful for the public's support and co-operation while the Tuahu Track is closed for six weeks."

Kauri dieback is caused by microscopic spores in the soil that infect kauri roots, stopping the flow of nutrients to the tree.

Eventually the infected tree starves to death. The disease can be spread if someone walks through mud containing spores and carries the contaminated mud on their footwear to another kauri forest.

The range of work to mitigate the kauri dieback risk includes building boardwalks, improving drainage and installing geoweb. Geoweb has plastic, honeycomb-like cells which are filled with lightly compacted bark and gravel, allowing kauri roots to grow freely.

"Kauri is a taonga [sacred] species," Mr Milham said.

"By making sure your shoes and gear are clean before entering Kauri forests you become a part of the solution to kauri dieback".

Quick Facts - Track Upgrades

• Tuahu East Track will close on October 25 for about six weeks

• The DOC website has been updated with closure and reopening information

Quick Facts - Kauri Dieback

• Kauri dieback is killing our forests

• It can be spread with just a pinhead of infected soil

• Clean all soil off your footwear and other gear every time you enter or leave a forest

• Use disinfectant only after you have removed all soil

• Stay on track and off kauri roots

- Bay of Plenty Times

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