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Phil Twyford walking for kauri

Posted by SC Comments Off on Phil Twyford walking for kauri
Phil Twyford at Piha Surf Club en route on Hillary Trail

Phil Twyford at Piha Surf Club en route on Hillary Trail

Caught up with Phil Twyford, Labour MP for Te Atatu, at the Piha Surf Club today (17 January).

Phil is walking the Hillary Trail to highlight the disease kauri PTA which is killing kauri trees in the Waitakeres and other parts of Auckland and Northland, and to protest at the Ministry of Primary Industries decision to not pitch for funds when its current investment comes to an end in mid-2014.

Kauri dieback, a spore-borne disease, has killed hundreds of trees throughout the Auckland region, yet resources currently being provided for research are grossly underfunded.

“I’m walking the Hillary Trail to raise awareness of the issue and launch a campaign for increased Government investment in the science, management, and ultimately the treatment of the disease to ensure we don’t lose the kauri altogether,” he says.

Twyford started at Arataki on 14 January and has been camping or staying in lodges and surf clubs along the route. Accompanying him are scientists and supporters. He’s had mild weather – blowy but not rainy – and says it has been a great experience.

It is expected to take six days to complete the trail, camping along the way at the following locations:

  • Monday, January 14: Arataki to Karamatura campground
  • Tuesday, January 15: Karamatura to Whatipu Lodge
  • Wednesday, January 16: Whatipu to Karekare McCreadie’s Paddock campground
  • Thursday, January 17: Karekare to Anawhata Craw campground
  • Friday, January 18: Anawhata to Te Henga (staying with friends)
  • Saturday, January 19: Te Henga to Muriwai

Here’s Phil’s Blog of his walk

http://blog.labour.org.nz/

 

Comment from Sandra Coney, Chair, Parks, Recreation and Heritage Forum, Auckland Council

9 January 2013

“I am concerned to hear the Ministry of Primary Industries is planning to end its funding for kauri dieback research and management.

“We still have more to learn about the vectors of spread, but more importantly, what can be done to halt the death of infected trees and prevent spread. Research needs to continue on these matters. Kauri PTA is a matter of national importance given the iconic status of the species.

“Auckland Council has not yet received a briefing or report on changes to Government funding. We are writing to the Minister of Primary Industries to seek clarification on the Government’s intended role in the future. Once we are clear about this, we can consider its implications for our management programme and what options are available to us.

“Auckland Council has made considerable progress in managing the disease, and has worked constructively with our partners MPI, the Department of Conservation, iwi and other councils. It is not clear at this stage whether government agencies intend to continue to work jointly with councils. We believe it is vital that we adopt a coordinated approach as the disease knows no boundaries.”

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