Accelerating protection for Kauri

Statement from Roger Smith, Head of Biosecurity New Zealand and Chair of the governance group for the Kauri Dieback Programme.

It’s very clear to all of us on the Kauri Dieback Programme Governance Group that we need to move quickly to combat the spread of dieback disease and provide stronger protection for kauri. To ensure we do, we are currently gathering information and considering options to speed up the establishment of a new management agency to implement the National Pest Management Plan (NPMP), while ensuring it is done robustly.

We anticipate that the establishment of an agency will run in parallel with the development of the NPMP proposal. There will also be opportunities for programme partners and communities to contribute their ideas to help shape the NPMP and management agency.

Setting up a management agency as a priority means we are working faster to protect kauri. A similar approach has been used before – which led to the establishment of Kiwifruit Vine Health – and was very successful.

The Accelerating Protection for Kauri project team will start with a refresh of New Zealand’s strategy for managing kauri dieback disease. The team will also develop the NPMP, consider improvements to programme functions and identify ways to strengthen engagement with partners and the community. We have also made a commitment to explore options for a different governance structure as part of the NPMP process. An independent panel will have oversight of the project team’s work.

Launched in 2009, the Kauri Dieback Programme is a collaborative partnership between MPI, the Department of Conservation, regional councils and tāngata whenua. We’d like communities to get more involved and contribute to the future protection of kauri.

More information about the NPMP and the upcoming consultation on the future protection for kauri will be available soon.

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