National | Kauri

Reserves containing wild kauri closed to public

Forest & Bird has announced they will be closing five reserves, containing wild kauri, to the public.

F&B CE Kevin Hague says there's concern that no official guidelines exist on building "safe tracks" to stop the spread of the kauri dieback disease.

They say the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) need to provide communities and landowners with "desperately needed national directions for managing the disease."

There are seven reserves containing kauri owned and managed by F&B, all of which covers nearly 250ha and are all believed to be disease-free.

The reserves that will close to the public are:

Morgan Reserve (Waikato branch), 
Ngaheretuku Reserve (South Auckland branch)
Matuku Reserve and Kerr-Taylor Reserve (Waitakere branch), 
Onetangi reserve and Te Haahi - Goodwin Reserve (Hauraki Islands branch)
HB Matthews Reserve (Far North Branch)

Hague says, "We believe all healthy kauri forests must be closed as a priority until we know how to stop the spread of kauri dieback disease. The Department of Conservation has recently added kauri to the threatened species list and is currently consulting on track closures but we feel their list does not go far enough. Private landowners and reserve managers also need to protect these precious taonga through closures."

F&B has advised that their tracks, and considers that all kauri forests should remain closed until strict regulations and checks have been put in place.