Some minders of tomorrow's great forests have planted a young kauri tree as part of their promise to the future.

Youngsters from Whangārei Heads School's Room 2 planted the tree on Friday at the end of their kauri dieback disease study programme.

They were joined by partners from the kauri dieback conservation hotspot, the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), its Biosecurity NZ branch and Northland Regional Council (NRC).

NRC environmental services group manager Bruce Howse said he was impressed with the school's programme.

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Zara Wakelin backfills the young kauri while Quinn Jessen and Adam Langdon hold it steady. Photo/John Stone
Zara Wakelin backfills the young kauri while Quinn Jessen and Adam Langdon hold it steady. Photo/John Stone

He said there were positives among the bad news, such as prevention measures people could take and some advances on the science front.

The latter included looking into whether some trees were more susceptible than others.

Before the planting, the Room 2 children and teacher Dane Higgison talked about the work they had done.

The pupils spoke about the various technology, scientific, art-based, promotional and hands-on projects they had created.

The bright ideas included sensor-activated gates which wouldn't open if spores were detected, a one-time only footwear spray that would kill spores forever, a ''kid safe and kid friendly'' website about the disease, a pitch to get on morning television to talk about the topic and - possibly the most popular - a computer game where the disease is eliminated when the spores (like alien invaders) are blasted to smithereens.

One of more than 70 schools who recently took part in a virtual field trip exploring dieback disease, Whangarei Heads was selected to receive a young kauri.

Run by MPI and LEARNZ, the virtual field trip was designed to continue strengthening community relationships and increase awareness with young biosecurity ambassadors of the future about the need to protect the iconic trees.

Kim Brown, Northern Operations manager for MPI helps with the planting. Photo/John Stone
Kim Brown, Northern Operations manager for MPI helps with the planting. Photo/John Stone

It also explored Māori cultural connections, science and research, and behaviour change for managing the spread of kauri dieback.

"This is really authentic learning, as we can see what impact this devastation can have on our local environment, including on our very own Mount Manaia," acting principal Denise Humphries said.

The strong kauri sapling was planted in bushland in the school grounds in a position where it could be seen but not walked on. The site also had Mt Manaia as a backdrop.

''We chose the site so when people see the tree they also see the maunga, Manaia, behind it, overlooking it,'' said Adam Willetts, Bream Head Conservation Trust ranger.