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DOC closes 31 kauri tracks

New cleaning stations have recently been installed at kauri tracks Photo: George Driver
DOC has announced it will permanently close 21 tracks and partially close a further 10 tracks to prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease. The closures follow consultation on closing 45 tracks earlier this year. DOC said the majority of public submissions favoured closure. In total, 11 tracks will be closed in the Hauraki area, six in Whangarei, six in Tauranga, four on the Kauri Coast, three in Great Barrier Island, and one in Waikato and Kaitaia. Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said the move was necessary to help slow or stop the spread of kauri dieback. “I appreciate some people may be disappointed by the closure of a favourite track but I strongly encourage everyone do the right thing and respect the track closures to reduce the risk to kauri forests,” Sage said. “Closures may be reconsidered in the future if additional science and other information provide certainty that public access would not cause any risk to kauri.” The closures occur where there is high dieback risk, low visitor numbers and where the upgrade and maintenance costs are prohibitive, or a similar experience is available nearby. DOC has already upgraded 54 high-priority tracks and closed 15 tracks and two reserves to prevent the spread of dieback. Sage said the department was looking at whether to upgrade or close the remaining tracks on kauri land which are yet to be upgraded. It comes after the Walking Access Commission said kauri dieback presents the greatest threat to access in New Zealand’s history. [table] Track,decision Great Barrier Island, Whangaparapara Pack Track/Link Track,Full closure Whangaparapara Peak Track,Full closure Old Lady Walk,Partial closure Hauraki, Booms - Orange Peel Corner Track,Partial Closure Hihi Trig to Kopu Hikuai Road Summit Track,Partial closure Devcich Kauri Track,Full closure Hihi Stream to Motutapere Tt,Full closure Waipaheke Motorbike Track,Full closure Lynch Stream Tramping Track,Partial closure Maratoto 4x4 Road & Extreme Loop,Partial closure Moss Creek Camp-Pinnacles Hut/Hydro Camp Jn,Partial closure Twin Kauri Short Walk,Partial closure Wainora Tramping Track,Partial closure Wharekirauponga Walk,Partial closure Kaitaia Kauri Bush Track,Full closure Kauri Coast Hukatere Track,Full closure Lookout Track,Full closure Toatoa Track,Full closure Tutamoe Track,Full closure Tauranga, Bluff Stream Kauri to Waitengaue Hut Track,Full closure Bluff Stream Kauri Track,Full closure Cashmores Clearing Track,Full closure Mangakino Stream Track (Dicky Track-County Rd),Full closure Wairoa Stream Track,Full closure Te Rereatukahia Hut Track,Partial closure   Waikato Kauri Route Te Kauri Park,Full closure   Whangarei Bratty's Bush Track,Full closure Cullen Road – Massey Road,Full closure Massey Road to SH 1,Full closure Pukemoremore - southern section of Russell,Full closure Te Ranga Trig - northern section of Russell,Full closure[/table]