DOC shuts 21 tracks over kauri dieback spread risk

Department of Conservation (DOC) will permanently close 21 tracks to prevent the spread of kauri dieback.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced the closures in addition to partial closures of another 10 tracks.

The closures will affect tracks in Kaitaia, the Kauri Coast, Whangārei, on Aotea/Great Barrier Island, in Hauraki, Waikato, and Tauranga, and will be monitored.

For the 10 partially closed tracks, a section will be permanently closed while the rest of the track is upgraded to eliminate wet and muddy sections.

“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,” Ms Sage said.

“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.”

The decision was made after public consultation, which showed most favoured closure.

“Closures may be reconsidered in the future if additional science and other information provide certainty that public access would not cause any risk to kauri,” Ms Sage said.

DOC is working with iwi to establish the next steps for the remaining tracks on kauri land that have not yet been upgraded.