Valentine’s weekend saw the public, scientists and the Kauri Dieback Management Programme team gather to learn about and discuss the latest research and activities for protecting New Zealand’s iconic kauri trees from kauri dieback disease.
Roughly 90 people attended the 2015 Kauri Dieback Symposium at the Copthorne Hokianga Resort and Hotel on Saturday 14 February. Approximately 70 of those attendees also went on a field trip through Waipoua forest the following day which was hosted by Te Roroa.
The diverse range of speakers and attendees generated a great deal of discussions, which saw people gain more awareness of one another's viewpoints and build strong connections. As well as the scientists involved in researching ways for managing the disease, there were community groups who work to protect or conserve kauri; tourism operators who take visitors through native areas and the various teams within the Kauri Dieback Management Programme.
One person said 'It was an incredible privilege to be there surrounded by so many people committed to understanding the issues around kauri dieback and working towards solutions. I have certainly left with a completely new level of understanding and awareness of the different perspectives….it was invaluable!'
Another theme was the need for everyone involved in protecting kauri to continue working together to share our knowledge, resources, and engaging people in removing soil and cleaning their gear before and after visiting kauri forests.
Many attendees also commented on the range of activities underway across kauri land and the diversity of people committed to protecting kauri.
Film clips of the presentations from day one will be available on this website in early March, and the media interviews are available on the Programme's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheKauriDiebackManagementProgramme
The Symposium Organising Committee (made up of the Kauri Dieback Programme partners, SCION, Plant and Food Research, Landcare and Bio Protection) are currently surveying attendees for feedback on this year's Symposium, and how we can improve future ones. So thank you to everyone who made this year's Symposium a success and we look forward to hosting the next annual event.