Ten walking tracks in Northland have been closed by the Department of Conservation to prevent the spread of kauri dieback.
Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage yesterday announced that DoC will close 21 tracks across kauri land to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback.
Another 10 tracks will also be partially closed and the open sections upgraded to eliminate wet and muddy sections of track and better protect the roots of kauri trees.
"As there is currently no proven cure for kauri dieback, the best way to protect our kauri is to slow and stop the disease from spreading," Sage said.
"The department is closing or partially closing tracks in Kaitaia, the Kauri Coast, Whangārei, on Aotea/Great Barrier Island, in Hauraki, Waikato, and Tauranga. The track closures are permanent and will be monitored. I appreciate some people may be disappointed by the closure of a favourite track but I strongly encourage everyone do the right thing and respect the track closures to reduce the risk to kauri forests."
In Northland tracks closed are the Kauri Bush Track, in Kaitaia, Hukatere; Lookout Toatoa and Tutamoe tracks on the Kauri Coast and in Whangārei Bratty's Bush Track; the Cullen Rd - Massey Rd track; Massey Rd - SH1 track; Pukemoremore - southern section of Russell forest track and Te Ranga Trig - northern section of Russell forest track.
A decision on whether to close Kauri Grove Walk; Omahuta Kauri Sanctuary Walk and Twin Bole Kauri walk in the Bay of Islands have been put on hold while consultation is carried out.
Sage said the decision was made after public consultation, and the majority of public submissions favoured closure. DoC has closed tracks in the past to prevent the spread of kauri dieback.
In consultation with local communities and iwi, DoC is continuing work to establish next steps for the remaining tracks on kauri land that have not yet been upgraded. This will include their upgrade, closure or partial closure.