Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Budget 2014: $25m to fight kauri dieback

Photo / Kim Alexander-Turia
Photo / Kim Alexander-Turia

The Government has promised more than $25 million to battle the outbreak of a kauri-killing disease.

The plan to invest in research, monitoring and preventive measures for kauri dieback was a key part of the Labour Party's conservation policy, announced earlier this year.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith said: "Kauri is an iconic species for New Zealand and one of the oldest and largest organisms on earth.

Kauri dieback is a significant threat to their survival and we need to ramp up our efforts to protect these magnificent trees."

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There is no known cure for the disease, which has been found in Northland, the Waitakere Ranges, Great Barrier Island, and recently in the Coromandel.

The Government planned to invest $15 million in operating funding and $10.7 million in capital funding over four years.

The money would go towards improving Department of Conservation walking tracks, boardwalks and hygiene stations, research, surveillance, and co-ordinating a response to the disease.

It would allow DOC to upgrade 100km of high-use tracks through kauri forests and install 300 hygiene stations.

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The total conservation budget remained the same in Budget 2014 at around $340 million.

The Government also allocated $20 million for freshwater management.

More than half of this would go to councils and communities to improve their planning and decision-making around managing local freshwater resources.

A $5 million fund would help communities to restore waterways through initiatives such as riparian planting and constructing artificial wetlands.

Around $3 million would be put towards implementing resource management reforms.

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Environment spending
- $26.5m over four years for fighting kauri dieback
- $20m over four years to help councils manage freshwater

- NZ Herald

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