Northland iwi part of fight against Kauri Dieback

By Tumamao Harawira

Iwi groups set up to protect kauri in Northland want funding to combat kauri Dieback extended. $35 million is being spent on a national management programme to fight the disease, named Tiakina Kauri.

But the programme's CEO, Huhana Lyndon, says the three-year funding term is too short to create any lasting change.

"We at Tiakina Kauri, as well as iwi representatives, have asked the government to increase the time period for funding so that we can look after these trees"

"If there isn't a strategy like this, then what would we do? Under Tiakina Kauri, we can get the work done."

The new National Pest Management Plan for Kauri aims to reduce the prevalence of the disease, with collaboration and partnership as the plan's cornerstones.

Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says collaboration and partnership are imperative to slow down the deadly Phytophthora Agathidicida (PA) pathogen known as Dieback Disease, and toward the continued restoration of our native forests.


Iwi collective ask for more funding to help combat kauri dieback.

'Biological bulldozer'

“This pathogen is like a biological bulldozer. It’s crucial for our unique biodiversity and biosecurity that we take strong action to fight this,”  O’Connor said.

“A national pest management plan is the strongest protection we can take under the Biosecurity Act. We’ve established Tiakina Kauri as the management agency to coordinate the fight."

Ngāti Wai is one of the iwi who has joined up with Kauri Ora,  an iwi collective designed to help in the battle against the disease in Northland.

Jeffery King, an ambassador of Kauri Ora, says the disease has been in Aotearoa for a lot longer than people know.

"It was first documented on Great Barrier Island. However, it was known to be in New Zealand since the 1960s and 197s. But no one thought it was an issue until it was discovered on Great Barrier."

Te Rangikōrero Edwards, also an ambassador for Kauri Ora, says the disease is prevalent in his area of Ngāti Wai.

"This disease has spread to all corners of Ngāti Wai, from the walkways into town and out to the coast, and also to the islands in and around Ngāti Wai."