The Department of Conservation is upgrading tracks in kauri forests to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says DOC has completed the first stage of a 3-year programme.
Twenty-six high priority tracks in the Bay of Islands, Kauri Coast, Whangarei, Auckland, Coromandel, Tauranga and Waikato regions were upgraded.
Barry says, “The 56 kilometres of track were improved to reduce wet and muddy areas where there is a risk of track users spreading kauri dieback spores in mud on their footwear.
DOC staff installed boardwalks and plastic honeycomb cells (geoweb) filled with bark chunks and gravel to make the track dry and mud free. Some sections of track were re-routed, and steps were also installed in places.
Upgrade work to the first tracks is complete and they have reopened for visitors to enjoy.
We will continue to explore all options to protect kauri, including track upgrades and potential track closures, around the North over the next three years.”
DOC is currently planning upgrade work on a further 150 km of track. These tracks will be temporarily closed while they are upgraded and the community told of the temporary closures.
Meanwhile, the multi-agency Kauri Dieback Management Programme continues research into the origin of the disease, its spread and new ways to detect its presence.