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Ed Sheeran

Māori voices needed in kauri strategy

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The leader of a new $13 million strategy for tackling kauri die back and myrtle rust says it’s a chance for Māori voices to be heard.

Nick Waipara from Plant and Food Research will try to bring together the many groups of scientists and community experts working on the problems to accelerate efforts to contain the risk.

He says traditional practices like rāhui show Māori had a sophisticated understanding of threats to their natural environment and the tools to tackle them.

"There’s always been traditional knowledge of the pūkahukahu mound which is the big litter mound that protects the kauri roots. Often when we trample in the ngahere which contain the real sensitive feeder roots of the kauri tree, those mounds are damaged. Our people have known of the sensitivity of these taonga plants for as long as we have been in Aotearoa," Dr Waipara says.

Meanwhile, Te Roroa and the Department of Conservation say new test results have detected no sign of kauri dieback disease close to Tāne Mahuta in the Waipoua Forest.

However, a positive sample of the Phytophthora agathidicida pathogen was found just over 60 metres away fron the giant tree, which is protected with boardwalks, cleaning stations, and Te Roroa ambassadors placed nearby to guide tourists.

 

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