Rāhui not enough say Waitakere Ranges mana whenua

Te Kawerau a Maki says the rāhui it imposed on the Waitakere Ranges is not enough to stop the spread of the deadly kauri dieback disease.

It is now calling for the Waitakere Ranges to be closed completely.

But with over 16,000 hectares and endless entry points, Auckland Council says that's not possible. 

A rāhui was imposed by mana whenua a month ago, to stop foot traffic through the Waitakere Ranges in hopes of minimising the spread of kauri dieback.

One in five kauri are killed by the disease, prompting a call to have the entire ranges shut down to allow for testing and treatment. 

But Auckland Council denied the request.

Only selected high risk tracks are banned and Te Kawerau a Maki say it's a mistake.

"We know that scientists also support full closure until more research is done, because up until now it hasn't been managed by anyone to date," says Edward Ashby, Te Kawerau iwi executive manager.

Despite reports that banned tracks are still being used, city officials say they've done enough.

A rāhui can be lifted after an agreed lapse of time - but not before the spread of kauri dieback stops, or a cure is found.

Until then, Ashby says: "As long as there is a problem, the rāhui will stand." 

A council committee meeting is set for February next year to assess the council's monitoring findings.