Te Roroa and the Department of Conservation have confirmed that test results indicate the area in the immediate vicinity of Tane Mahuta is clear of the pathogen which causes kauri dieback disease — although two sites less than 100 metres away have returned positive results.
The two sites are no closer to Tane Mahuta than the site confirmed with the disease in June this year and are not publicly accessible.
Taoho Patuawa, science and research manager for Te Roroa, says that this information will allow the Te Roroa Mana Whenua Board, in partnership with DOC, to make an informed decision on the future of the Tane Mahuta walkway, and also validates the need for further protection measures to continue within the forest.
“I am pleased that no sign of the disease has been detected any closer to Tane Mahuta, but the risk still remains,” says Patuawa. “It is still vital that all visitors to Waipoua respect our wishes to stay on the track and clean their footwear when they enter and leave the forest.”
Sue Reed-Thomas, DOC director of the northern North Island, says more will be done to ensure the risk of the disease is managed.
“We’ll continue to pour all our energy into restricting the spread of the disease. A five-year pig control programme for Waipoua Forest will be underway shortly to move pigs from where the disease is nearby,” said Reed-Thomas.