Kauri dieback disease is killing one of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s taonga (treasures) – our unique kauri forests. But kauri will be saved … by people like you
- Keep a cleaning kit in your vehicle or your saddle bags that includes dandy brushes to remove soil from the legs and belly, a hoof pick and an adequate supply of Sterigene. 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, from your horse’s coat, and pick your horse’s hooves thoroughly - 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. A pinhead of soil is enough to spread the disease. Do not use water (including stream water) to clean, unless the run-off water is contained – 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 an animal’s skin.
- Avoid going off track, and going near kauri - (a kauri’s roots are extremely delicate, grow close to the surface, are susceptible to disease, and can grow outwards 3x as far as a tree’s branches).
- Avoid areas that are particularly muddy. The disease is spread more easily in wet conditions.
- If your favourite route has been closed – do not use it. Closures are only made when the risk of spreading the disease from or to an area is extraordinarily high.
- Never assume anywhere is free of kauri dieback. Infected trees may not show it. Even if you only ever use the same route, clean both ways, every time.
- Spread the word within your networks about the need to help stop the spread of kauri dieback, and be seen doing the right thing. Everyone has a part to play in saving kauri.
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’ll be near kauri.
People (and the animals they manage) are the number one way in which the disease is spread, through the movement of contaminated soil. But responsible horse riders like you are helping save kauri, along with the rest of the community.
Click here to read the Department of Conservation’s guidelines on riding horses in conservation areas.
Updated July 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.