Waitākere Ranges closes today over kauri dieback disease

  • 01/05/2018

Only a few tracks in the Waitākere Ranges will remain open from Tuesday to prevent the spread of the kauri dieback disease.

Ninety-one tracks will close, but 23 will remain open as they're considered to meet requirements of a Controlled Area Notice.

Of the closed tracks, some are not yet up to the required standard, others need new hygiene stations, and some tracks have also been impacted by the recent storms. 

Council are beginning to put out closed signs and barriers on the tracks, and compliance officers will be monitoring the area. 

The spread of kauri dieback has more than doubled in the past five years, with 20 percent of kauri now infected. The disease eats into the roots of the tree, stripping the canopy and causing bark to waste away.

In February, the Environment and Community Committee voted unanimously in favour of the closure proposal, subject to an engagement process.

Concerned Waitākere residents have said the full closure of the ranges can't come soon enough, as people continue to flout the rāhui placed by local iwi last year.

The main cause of spread is human movement through tracking contaminated soil.