Results from our latest round of surveillance further pinpoint kauri dieback locations.
A national surveillance programme is underway to determine the distribution of kauri dieback in New Zealand. Knowing which forests are still healthy and which are contaminated is critical to ground management. As kauri dieback spores are microscopic and invisible to the naked eye, our surveillance programme often depends on reliable detection and diagnostic methods to confirm if soil or plant samples are PTA positive. A collaborative partnership between our programme and Landcare Research, Scion Research and Plant & Food Research have successfully developed a standard method to bait PTA out of soil into pure culture and then genetically sequence each isolate to confirm the identity of each cultures as being PTA. Using the genetic sequences of PTA, a direct DNA probe is also under development which may allow for the faster detection of PTA in the field.
The second major soil testing programme around kauri tree sites was recently concluded in Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty. Sites being tested included areas in significant kauri stands and iconic trees.
Site-specific management plans are being developed to manage the disease where it has been found.
The Programme acknowledges that time pressure to get fieldwork underway meant involvement of Tangata Whenua was compromised - both for tendering for participation in fieldwork and for providing liaison follow up with mana whenua and site land owners.