February 09, 2017
Public crucial in kauri die back fight
Citizen science is key to a new initiative to stop the spread kauri die-back and strengthen the ability of forests to resist the disease.
The Kauri Rescue Project being launched tonight at the Titirangi War Memorial Hall will recruit private landowners to work alongside scientists to treat their own trees with phosphite, which has shown great promise in scientific trials.
The project will also encourage landowners to test other treatment techniques, including both western science and matauranga Maori methods.
Project member Waitangi Wood says Maori cultural practices including sticking to established tracks and not carrying soil, plant material or water between different catchments fits in with the sort of protection needed.
She says the project came out of high level discussions between scientists, government agencies and tangata whenua.
"It requires a more localised approach where people who have land and people who have cultural authority like Maori, mana whenua over land, are now able to take some of the science that has been learnt and have the opportunity to apply and be part of this process, the system of trying to stop the spread of this Phytophthora," Ms Wood says.
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