The Kauri Dieback Strategic Science Advisory Group science plan was released in December 2018. It was developed with the help of New Zealand and international experts and thought leaders from science organisations, iwi, government agencies, and educational organisations.
Making the plan
Over 60 experts attended a two day workshop to identify immediate and longer term science needs. A separate webinar was also held to canvass Māori views.
The SSAG used the outputs from the workshop and webinar to set the themes and priorities.
The draft plan was circulated to all workshop attendees and others (around 150 people) with specific interests for comment before being finalised and submitted to the Kauri Dieback Programme Governance Group.
A lot of great work has taken place to understand kauri dieback, but there is still more critical information needed. The science plan will build on existing knowledge (local and international), operational research and management and identifies short-term and long-term science needed to save kauri.
Surveillance, detection, diagnostics and pathways (Where is the pathogen, how does it spread, and how do we detect it?)
Biology of hosts(s) and pathogen(s) (How does the pathogen(s) interact with the host to cause disease? How does the environment influence the disease?)
Ecosystem impact and interactions (How does the disease impact on biodiversity, ecosystem function and health and vice versa?)
Te Ao Māori ( How do we ensure that Māori requirements and needs in fighting kauri dieback are met, incorporating kaupapa and mātauranga Māori?)
Building public/community engagement and social licence (How can people engage in, and contribute to, all aspects of the programme?)
Control and management (How do we manage the spread of the pathogen and impact of the disease?)
Successful implementation of the science plan relies on science organisations, iwi, government agencies, and educational organisations working together to deliver the science in the priorities identified. It will also require actively applying successful research findings into practices as quickly as possible.