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Commission supports rāhui to save kauri
The Commission’s Auckland Regional Field Adviser, Dot Dalziell has been supporting Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara to protect native forest and sites of significance to the iwi.
Many tracks and trails around the northern part of Aotearoa are currently closed to prevent the spread of Kauri Dieback. Among them is the walkway up Atuanui (Mt Auckland).
Atuanui was returned to Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara in 2013 as part of a treaty settlement. Ngā Maunga Whakahii is a hāpū of Ngāti Whātua.
While the pathogen that causes the Kauri Dieback disease has not been found on Atuanui, the Rāhui protection placed on the maunga is allowing for track upgrade work to help keep kauri safe into the future. The popular Atuanui Walkway which gives visitors spectacular views of the Kaipara Harbour and Hoteo River Estuary will then re-open to public access.
The hāpū approached Dalziell for advice and technical support about public access to help it protect the kauri.
While Ngā Maunga Whakahii controls the main northern entrance to the walkway, the organisation does not control the southern entrance through an adjacent reserve managed by the Department of Conservation. The southern entrance passes across grazed fields, with no formed path. So visitors entering the forested area often find it impossible to clean boots effectively at the Kauri hygiene station – making it a risky entryway for the spread of Kauri Dieback.
Dalziell has been able to give the hāpū clarity about what the rules about public access are and who is responsible for each aspect of access. It has been able to use this information to improve their kauri protection.
Dalziell says good public access to land needs to consider our responsibility to the environment and to the cultural landscape.
“Atuanui is a sacred maunga to the local people, and the Commission needs to help make sure that public access does not harm our kauri.”