The joint initiative is between the DOC Tauranga, Hauraki and Whitianga offices, working together with iwi, Waikato Regional Council and Thames-Coromandel District Council, community groups and businesses.
DOC Kauri Protection Ranger Chris Twemlow says during the summer almost a million people travel to the Coromandel Peninsula and Northern Bay of Plenty to enjoy the holiday break and many will visit the beautiful kauri forests.
DOC and iwi track ambassadors will be at high use tracks including the Kauaeranga Valley and The Waiau Kauri Grove, between 27 December and the 5 January. The ambassadors will be encouraging the correct use of hygiene stations and will be sharing information on how best to protect kauri.
“When people enter the kauri forests, we ask them to do so with regard for the health of the bush and the ancient trees that live there. We can all do this by following the hygiene practices in place and staying on the open tracks,” says Chris Twemlow.
Ongoing work by DOC and local councils to upgrade and maintain walking tracks and install new hygiene stations has allowed these unique areas to remain open to the public.
“It’s easy to help protect our kauri and prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease. It’s all part of our Tiaki Promise to help Papatūānuku (earth) thrive”.
About kauri dieback
Kauri dieback can kill kauri of all ages. It’s a disease caused by a microscopic fungus-like organism, called Phytophthora agathidicida (PA). It lives in the soil and infects kauri roots, damaging the tissues that carry nutrients and water within the tree, effectively starving it to death.
There is no cure for kauri dieback, and the disease kills most if not all the kauri it infects. It can be spread by just a pinhead of soil.