Forest and Bird shuts reserves to stop kauri dieback

Forest and Bird has labelled the Government's response to kauri dieback disease disgraceful. Photo credit: Supplied

Forest and Bird has labelled the Government's response to kauri dieback disease disgraceful.

So the environmental organisation is taking matters into its own hands - closing off 250 hectares of land across seven privately owned reserves with the native trees.

Chief executive Kevin Hague says he feels there's no other option.

"We have been very, very disappointed by the performance of the Ministry for Primary Industries. They, in our view, have been pretty woeful in their performance, and everything they've done has taken far too long."

Mr Hague says he hopes other private landowners follow suit, saying the Government's response has been far too slow.

"We don't think that they understand the magnitude and the urgency of this problem."

MPI told NZME it welcomed the move, but disagreed that it hadn't done enough.

"We all want the same outcome, and we welcome constructive feedback and engagement with anyone in the interests of saving our kauri," its statement read. "However, misinformed comments do not help the national and wide-ranging effort underway."

The closed reserves

  • Matthews Reserve near Kaitaia
  • Matuku Reserve near Bethells Beach
  • Colin Kerr-Taylor Reserve at Waimauku
  • Onetangi Reserve on Waiheke Island
  • Goodwin-Te Haahi Reserves on Waiheke Island
  • Ngaheretuku Reserve at Clevedon
  • Morgan Reserve near Waihi.

Mr Hague also says it's concerning there's still no official guideline on how to build a 'safe track' to stop the disease from spreading.

"Kauri is not only on Government-owned land, or places where the Government decides what happens. We hope that all landowners will follow our lead."

Many tracks in the Waitakere Ranges in west Auckland have been closed off, as have parks on the North Shore.

Dieback can be spread on trampers' shoes.