21 Oct 2009

Funding sought for research into dying kauri

3:39 pm on 21 October 2009

Conservation groups are worried that research into dead and dying kauri trees will be put on the back-burner.

MAF Biosecurity, the Department of Conservation and several regional councils have made a joint approach to the Government for funding to research dying kauri and look for a cure.

A spokesperson for Biosecurity Minister David Carter says the Cabinet considered the proposal on Monday and the outcome will be announced soon.

Kauri die-back disease was first discovered in the Waitakere's in 2006 by a member of the Forest and Bird Society.

The killer has been identified as Phytopthera Taxon Agathis, a microscopic plant-fungus new to science.

The Waipoua Forest Trust says the need for research is urgent. It says fungus such as the one killing kauri in Auckland and Northland can move very fast.

The Department of Conservation says famous old kauri in Northland including Tane Mahuta are showing no signs of illness, but the pathogen has been found in the soil at Trounson Park not far away.