21 Mar 2019

Warkworth site fenced off after Kauri dieback discovered

9:59 pm on 21 March 2019

An area near a school in Warkworth is being fenced off after a tree was found to be infected with kauri dieback disease.

Over the Waitākere forest canopy it's not hard to see the damage kauri dieback has done.

A tree with kauri dieback in the Waitākere forest. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

The kauri behind Mahurangi College in Warkworth will be cordoned off along with other nearby trees to make sure people don't enter the area.

Auckland Council kauri dieback manager Lisa Tolich said it was a busy area with students walking through it so there was a high risk of the disease being spread.

Beth Houlbrooke

Beth Houlbrooke Photo: ACT party

Further checks were being carried out in the area.

"We have also taken soil samples from two reserves immediately adjacent to the infected tree; Falls Road Esplanade Reserve and View Road Bush Reserve," she said.

The council was working closely with Mahurangi College and there would be a programme for students to carry out some of the protection work in nearby reserves.

In the Rodney Local Board area there are 44 local parks or reserves that contain kauri ecosystems. Of those areas, two were already home to diseased trees, according to a recent report.

The local board today considered what the next steps would be in order to protect kauri in the area.

Rodney Local Board chair Beth Houlbrooke said it was disappointing and concerning to have the tree confirmed with the disease.

"As a local board, we continue to work hard alongside the community and council on proactive measures to protect our precious kauri," said Ms Houlbrooke.

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