26 Mar 2014

More money 'must' for kauri research

10:52 am on 26 March 2014

One of the men who discovered kauri dieback disease says its tragic that Coromandel trees have been infected but hopes it's the trigger needed to get more research funding.

Dieback in two trees in Coromandel was confirmed on Tuesday.

The Square Kauri, a tourist attraction near Tapu on the Coromandel.

The Square Kauri, a tourist attraction near Tapu on the Coromandel. Photo: PHOTO NZ

As a result, the Whangapoua Forest has been closed to the public, and more tests on Kauri in the region are being done.

Auckland Council principal biosecurity adviser Nick Waipara discovered kauri dieback in New Zealand in 2007.

Dr Waipara says the spread of the disease to Coromandel should send alarm bells for all homeowners and councils with kauri in their area to warn people of the contamination risk.

Dr Waipara says this case also highlights the need for more funding into the disease.

The current research contract ends in June.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith says he has discussed the matter with Cabinet, and expects more funding to be granted.

"We've had a series of ministers' meetings associated with the Budget, I am quite confident that funding will be coming through to ensure that this programme is not just continued but that it is expanded."

Dr Smith says results from other tests in Coromandel should be known in about six weeks.