Kauri dieback-affected Waitakere track to reopen before Christmas

The kauri dieback-affected Kitekite Falls track in the Waitakere Ranges will be reopened by Christmas, according to Auckland Councillor Penny Hulse.

Ms Hulse, the chair of the Council's Environment and Community Committee, told The AM Show, that "some tracks" affected by the disease, including the Kitekite Falls track near Piha, will be open to the public in December.

A spokesperson for Auckland Council later clarified that it would only be the Kitekite track that would reopen, which has a "number of loops (tracks) within it".

It comes as Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods is expected to announce new funding for research into kauri dieback and myrtle rust in Auckland on Tuesday.

Ms Hulse said it was "fantastic to have the Government stepping up. We've been doing this, what feels like on our own, for a few years now".

Ninety-one tracks in the Waitakere Ranges closed in May, and Ms Hulse said most Aucklanders have been following the rules and keeping away.

But some haven't and Ms Hulse labelled those people as "stupid".

"We've still got some people using the tracks. Bad them! No one should be using those tracks".

Tracks were closed because they were not up to the required standard, while others needed new hygiene stations.

While there is no known cure for kauri dieback, she said it was pivotal to stop the disease spreading.

"That's controlling our pests, our pigs and our people's feet in the ranges," she said.

The disease has spread to 20 percent of kauri. The disease eats into roots of the tree, stripping the canopy and causing bark to waste away.

This article was amended on November 20 because it incorrectly stated that some tracks in the Hunua ranges would be reopening before Christmas. No tracks will be reopening in the Hunua ranges in that time period, according to the Auckland Council.