The discovery of the kauri-killing fungus PTA just 500 metres from Tane Mahuta in Northland has prompted a renewed warning for Coromandel and Thames residents to be particularly vigilant about stopping the spread of the kauri dieback disease.
The Coromandel-Thames region is home to the biggest stands of kauri in the wider Waikato, and there are also kauri in places like the Hakarimata Range south of Huntly.
"We want people living in and visiting such areas to be very careful when going on to land where kauri are growing," said Environment Waikato biosecurity officer Jeanie McInnes.
No kauri dieback has been found in Waikato but it is confirmed in Northland, the Waitakere Range in Auckland and Great Barrier Island. There is a joint agency response set up and a long term management plan is in the process of being implemented. The primary objective is to avoid any risk of the infection becoming established in the Waikato.
"Anyone coming from these areas to the Waikato must clean their gear and footwear before going on to land where kauri are," said Ms McInnes.
In the Coromandel-Thames area and the Hakarimata Range, it is planned to establish three footwear cleaning stations on Department of Conservation and Thames-Coromandel District Council lands. EW is currently working with DoC staff to identify where cleaning stations are best located to avoid the spread of PTA.
"These stations will be a visible reminder to people about the need to be vigilant about kauri dieback and offer them a quick way of cleaning their footwear," said Ms McInnes.