More than $8 million in funding will help scientists get a better handle on kauri dieback disease and stop its spread.
A scientist working on kauri dieback said the government's funding boost for research would allow scientists to tackle some basic and urgent questions about the disease.
The Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Megan Woods this week announced new funding of $8.75 million for kauri dieback work.
Dr Ian Horner of Plant and Food Research said the funding was fantastic news.
"There's a whole lot we don't know about this disease yet, and we need to get a better handle on it so we can manage it better and stop its spread. That's the key," he said.
Dr Horner has run trials on the use of phosphite to treat diseased kauri, and led a team that recently took soil samples from around Tane Mahuta, in Northland's Waipoua Forest.
One of the key areas for research would be the natural spread-rate of the pathogen, Dr Horner said.
"In the situations for example that we've got around Tane Mahuta, we know there's a tree 60-metres away that's infected. If we do everything right, and keep people and pigs out of the vicinity, how fast is it going to move along those roots and spread towards the tree?
"How long does it survive on roots or as spores in the soil? There's some very basic ecological things that we don't know yet," he said.
Dr Horner said research on treating diseased kauri with phosphite was progressing well, with younger trees recovering from signs of dieback.
"All the time we're improving the information we're getting and homing in on the optimal level of chemical that should be used for treating (larger) trees," he said.
Scientists, the Department of Conservation and Ministry for Primary Industries staff and iwi are expected to meet today to dicuss the results of the soil sampling in Waipoua Forest.