15 Mar 2012

Auckland walkways to close to protect kauri

7:16 pm on 15 March 2012

Auckland Council is proposing to close stretches of walking track in an effort to protect kauri.

It's earmarked 27 kilometres of walkways in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, in areas where the trees appear to be unaffected by kauri dieback which is a fungal disease.

The council says it's attempting to control the spread of the disease that's devastating the forest giants and threatening the future of kauri.

Protection zones have been identified in the Cascade Kauri, Anawhata, Waiatarua, Piha, Karekare, Huia and Parau areas.

If the proposal gets the go ahead from councillors, sections of track would be shut.

But the closures would be reviewed after a year to see if the plan is helping to protect the kauri.

Auckland Council is part of a joint agency programme to keep kauri standing which includes iwi, Department of Conservation, regional councils and MAF Biosecurity.

The council says it's also watching the Hunua Ranges Regional Park, where it's investigating steps to take a similar approach in the near future.