13 Apr 2014

Labour promises $20m for kauri disease

3:51 pm on 13 April 2014

The Labour Party says it will spend $20 million fighting kauri dieback disease over the next 10 years if it gets into power.

Kauri trees in Trounson Kauri Park.

Kauri trees in Trounson Kauri Park. Photo: PHOTO NZ

The party's leader, David Cunliffe, says more than 11 percent of the trees in the Waitakere Ranges are infected by the disease, which has also spread to the Coromandel, Northland and Great Barrier Island.

At this rate, he says, the kauri could be wiped out for good - yet the Government has spent only $4 million over the past five years on a programme to fight the disease.

Mr Cunliffe says the Ministry for Primary Industries has been considering scaling back the programme and leaving the task to local councils and iwi.