In response to ongoing public interest, three further public meetings have been added to the consultation process under way for the Accelerating Protection for Kauri project.
The meetings, to be held in West Auckland, Hamilton and Waiheke Island, start this week in kauri regions – and further meetings may still be added depending on demand.
Biosecurity New Zealand (part of the Ministry for Primary Industries), which manages the kauri dieback programme alongside partner organisations, is asking for people's thoughts on plans for the future management of the disease. This involves three rounds of public consultation, the second of which is now under way and runs through until September 10.
John Sanson, manager recovery and pest management for Biosecurity NZ, says more meetings may yet be added to the current round of consultation, depending on demand, with additional targeted meetings also to be held with key interest groups.
A first round of consultation has recently been held, and feedback from this has helped inform development of a refreshed management strategy, he says.
"The purpose of the consultation process is to gather feedback from anyone with an interest in protecting kauri, so that their ideas can help us shape our plans into the future, and we encourage people to get to one of the public meetings if they can – or otherwise make a submission to us directly."
Along with gathering feedback on the draft refreshed strategy, the current consultation is seeking people's ideas to help shape development of a National Pest Management Plan, and options for the creation of a new management agency to implement it.
"These measures will provide the strongest available biosecurity framework to support ongoing kauri protection efforts, which already involve a significant range of projects and initiatives that are under way across kauri lands," Sanson says.
The second phase of consultation runs until September 12, with the public meetings being held in kauri regions starting this week. For details of the meetings and how to contribute, click here.
The Hamilton meeting is Sunday, September 2 from 6.30–9pm at the Waikato Regional Council Offices, 401 Grey St.
The Kauri Dieback Programme is a collaborative partnership between Biosecurity NZ, which co-ordinates the programme, and tangata whenua, the Department of Conservation, Auckland Council, and the Waikato, Northland, and Bay of Plenty regional councils.