April 04, 2017
Extra protection for Tane Mahuta
The track leading to Tane Mahuta, the country’s largest known kauri, is closed until Friday to allow for the installation of a footwear cleaning station before the usual increase in visitors over Easter.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says it’s an attempt to keep the iconic tree safe from kauri dieback, which can be spread by people picking up microscopic spores on their footwear as they walk through the ngahere.
Kauri dieback slowly starves a tree to death, infecting the roots and destroying tissues that carry water and nutrients.
The track from State Highway 12 to the tree is already all fenced boardwalk.
Te Roroa Manawhenua Trust Board chair Sonny Nesbit says kauri dieback is having an impact not just on the trees but on his iwi a cultural and spiritual connection to Waipoua forest for hundreds of years.
The Department of Conservation has so far upgraded 26 high priority tracks in the Bay of Islands, Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Tauranga and Waikato regions with boardwalks or plastic honeycomb cells filled with bark and gravel, and it has another 150 kilometres of track to do.
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