Man faces $60k fine for allegedly entering closed Waitakere Ranges track amid kauri dieback epidemic

The first person to be charged after allegedly entering a closed track in Auckland's Waitakere Ranges can finally be named.

Robert Armitstead reappeared in court on Tuesday morning accused of using the tracks that were shut to prevent the spread of kauri dieback.

Auckland Council alleges Armitstead entered the closed track not once but three times over the course of five months in 2019.

His intrusion followed the council's move in 2018 to shut high-risk areas of the Waitakere Ranges in an effort to protect the forest from the further spread of kauri dieback disease.

Armitstead first appeared in court in January where he pleaded "not guilty" to three charges under the council's Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw.

He could face a fine of up to $60,000.

On Tuesday he told the court he had no intention of going into the Ranges again, and has been remanded at large.

He's due to reappear in court in May.

The council says it's currently investigating another two cases for prosecution and has issued 56 trespass notices to people who have ignored the closures.