The track to Tāne Mahuta will not be closed in the foreseeable future, says Waipoua Forest iwi Te Roroa.

Instead a multi-pronged kauri dieback disease control plan would be actioned on the ground, in the air and in the international world of scientific resources and study.

Te Roroa science adviser Taoho Patuawa rolled out the iwi's care plan, governance and operational structure to Northland Regional Council yesterday.

Patuawa said Te Roroa had been ''under a bit of pressure to impose a rahui'' — banning visitors from the forest and particularly New Zealand's most famous tree, Tane Mahuta.


''A rahui is not off the table. We see it as a possible management tool. The ultimate goal is to manage [dieback] by removing spread and risk.

''A reason we haven't contemplated closing the track to Tāne Mahuta yet is because it is the best mitigated track in New Zealand.''

When the ''fake'' news broke in July that the country's most famous kauri was terminally ill with dieback, the tree might have accidentally been killed with love, he said.

Thousands more people than usual for that time of year visited it. Ironically, that outpouring of concern required careful management to prevent all those feet adding to the threat.

''They wanted to see Tane one last time before we shut the forest or the tree died. I don't mind going on record as saying Tāne Mahuta is going to outlive anyone in this place.''

Te Roroa had reinstated ''Kauri Ambassadors'' who welcomed visitors to the forest's two short kauri tourist tracks, ensured they washed their footwear soles, kept to the path and left the forest with greater understanding.

Locally, Te Roroa's plan included terrain mapping, soil sampling, GSP tree data input, assessment of water-flow paths across the forest's 9100 hectares and ongoing monitoring.

Internationally, the iwi was aware of keen scientific interest in kauri dieback and existing experience with other phytophthora pathogens to be drawn on, such as jarrah in Western Australia.

Patuawa fell short of criticising the Ministry for Primary Industries-led, multi-agency Kauri Dieback Management Programme, on whose committee he sits.

But he said he understood conservation groups' and the general public's perception and frustration that not enough autonomy or on-ground initiatives were in place.