The Tree Council welcomes the recent announcement by the Labour Party to invest $32m over the next five years to implement essential work to protect kauri.
The policy promises to deliver a National Pest Management Plan for kauri and a “national agency” although the form that agency will take is not indicated.
The Tree Council’s Dr Mels Barton says “While we are delighted to get this commitment now these promises were also made by Labour three years ago and despite two years of consultation no progress has been made during this parliamentary term with delivering this crucial tool for managing the disease, and kauri continue to die.”
“Back in December 2017 Ministers Damien O’Connor and Eugenie Sage said they were going to move “immediately” to protect kauri and implement a National Pest Management Plan. We are still waiting for that, so we hope that this time around they mean what they say and are actually going to deliver both the plan and the funding to where it is most needed; on the ground and with the iwi, community and Councils actually doing the work, and not lost in yet more inaction from central government agencies.”
Kauri are at a tipping point for their survival. Our forests need urgent action now if we are to prevent extinction of this species and the associated ecological collapse of the northern podocarp forests they comprise. Kauri cannot afford to wait any longer.