Kauri dieback disease is killing one of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s taonga – our unique kauri forests. But kauri will be saved … with your help.
- Keep a cleaning kit in your vehicle that includes brushes, an adequate supply of Sterigene, and plastic bags for bagging any gear that can’t be cleaned on- site. To avoid spreading contaminated soil inside your vehicle, pack a second pair of footwear for the drive home.
- Clean all soil off your footwear and other gear, every time you enter or leave an area with native trees. This is to avoid introducing the disease to a new area, or moving it from an area where the disease is already established. If you are taking dogs into the bush, clean any soil off their paws and from their coat, before and after entering the bush. Do not use water (including stream water) to clean, unless it will be captured in a sewer, for instance – the pathogen that causes dieback is a water mould, and is activated by water.
- Only use disinfectant on your footwear and other gear after you have removed all the soil; spray it on all the areas that have come into contact with the ground. Note that disinfectant should not be sprayed onto a dog’s skin or paws.
- Use tracks as much as possible, and avoid going near kauri (a kauri’s roots are extremely delicate, are susceptible to disease, and can grow outwards 3x as far as a tree’s branches).
- If an area has been closed or is protected by a rahui, do not use it. Closures are only made when the risk of spreading the disease from an area is extremely high, or because that area is at extraordinary risk.
- Never assume anywhere is free of kauri dieback. Infected trees may not show it. Even if you only ever hunt in the same area, clean your gear – and your dog(s) – both ways, every time.
- Spread the word within your networks about the need to help stop the spread of kauri dieback, and make sure you’re seen doing the right thing. Everyone has a part to play in saving kauri.
- Releasing game animals in or near native bush is highly likely to spread kauri dieback to new trees; it only takes a pinhead of soil to spread the disease, so ungulate animals are considered to be one of the key ways in which the disease is spread, via the infected soil in their hooves. Overseas, this has been found to be the case with other water moulds. There is also strong evidence that the pathogen can pass alive through the guts of animals that root for food, such as pigs.
About kauri dieback
- The pathogen that causes kauri dieback is microscopic, ‘smart,’ and tough. It is possible for it to survive at least six years on footwear or equipment. It can sense where a kauri tree’s roots are, and then ‘swim’ towards them through the soil. It kills most if not all kauri it infects, of all ages.
- Kauri naturally occur throughout the upper North Island (in the Northland, Auckland and Waikato regions, and in parts of the Bay of Plenty); if you’re in natural bush and you’re in the upper North Island, it’s likely you’re near kauri.
- It is highly unlikely that a cure for kauri dieback will ever be found. Phosphite is being researched as a means to slow the spread of the infection within individual kauri, but it does not cure the disease and has only a limited application - if any - in natural forest (trees have to be repeatedly injected with the chemical, at multiple sites on the trunk). The only way to save kauri is to clean gear before and after going near kauri, and to stay off kauri roots.
Click here to visit the Department of Conservation’s hunting pages.
Updated May 2017
The information in this guide is intended to be general information. It is not intended to take the place of, or to represent, the written law of New Zealand or other official guidelines or requirements. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this document is accurate, the Ministry for Primary Industries (and any of their employees or agents involved in the drafting of this guide) do not accept any responsibility or liability for any error of fact, omission, interpretation or opinion which may be present, nor for the consequences of any decisions or actions based on this information.
The Ministry/The Kauri Dieback Programme itself and on behalf of all the persons mentioned above, clarifies that it has no control over and is not responsible for the contents of any pages referenced or accessed from this guide other than pages provided by the Ministry/The Kauri Dieback Programme. Any hyperlinks to other Web sites imply neither responsibility for, nor approval of, the information contained in those other Web sites on the part of the Ministry/The Kauri Dieback Programme.