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DOC to close some Tauranga walking tracks

A tree affected by kauri dieback.

Some Tauranga walking tracks are among the 21 tracks the Department of Conservation is closing to stop the spread of kauri dieback.

An additional 10 tracks will also be partially closed and the open sections upgraded to eliminate wet and muddy sections of track and better protect the roots of kauri trees.

“As there is currently no proven cure for kauri dieback, the best way to protect our kauri is to slow and stop the disease from spreading,” says Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage.

“The Department is closing or partially closing tracks in Kaitaia, the Kauri Coast, Whangarei, on Aotea/Great Barrier Island, in Hauraki, Waikato, and Tauranga. The track closures are permanent and will be monitored.

“I appreciate some people may be disappointed by the closure of a favourite track but I strongly encourage everyone do the right thing and respect the track closures to reduce the risk to kauri forests.”

The decision was made after public consultation, and the majority of public submissions favoured closure.

DOC has closed tracks in the past to prevent the spread of kauri dieback.

“Closures may be reconsidered in the future if additional science and other information provide certainty that public access would not cause any risk to kauri.

“Although protecting kauri is the key focus, the Department did consider the need to maintain recreation opportunities and there are still many walking and tramping options available in nearby areas.”

In consultation with local communities and iwi, DOC is continuing work to establish next steps for the remaining tracks on kauri land that have not yet been upgraded. This will include their upgrade, closure or partial closure.

The Tauranga tracks affected are:
- Bluff Stream Kauri to Waitengaue Hut Track
- Bluff Stream Kauri Track
- Cashmores Clearing Track
- Mangakino Stream Track (Dicky Track-County Rd)
- Wairoa Stream Track

The Te Rereatukahia Hut Track will be partially closed from the entrance to the Wharawhara Link Track intersection.

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