Hāpai Te Hauora supports calls from iwi and the Independent Māori Statutory Board urging the Auckland Council to implement the total closure of the Waitākere ranges to prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease. Yesterday councillors at the environment and community committee meeting voted 11 to 7 against the resolution to close the ranges. Instead, they opted for a compromise, closing high-risk areas only and citing logistical issues around the enforcement of a full ban as a major reason for the decision.
"We are disappointed by the failed vote to close the Waitākere Ranges" said Anthony Hawke, General Manager Māori Public Health at Hāpai Te Hauora "Experts have made it clear that this is a crisis and our kauri are at grave risk. Visitors are choosing to ignore the extensive signage and warnings about kauri dieback disease and it’s clear that anything less than a full ban will be insufficient to save our kauri from further damage."
Hāpai Te Hauora supports the rāhui recently placed on the Waitākere Ranges. "While we’re disappointed about the Auckland Council decision there are steps we can take as a community to prevent the spread of kauri dieback diease." We encourage whānau to educate themselves and their communities about the reasons for the rāhui and to stay away from the Waitākere Ranges."
Hāpai Te Hauora also urges people to express their support for the councillors who voted for the full closure, and their disappointment at the decision of the councillors who voted against.
Votes for: Renata Blair James Brown Cathy Casey Christine Fletcher John Walker Wayne Walker John Watson
Votes against: Penny Hulse Bill Cashmore Ross Clow Linda Cooper Chris Darby Phil Goff Richard Hills Mike Lee Daniel Newman Desley Simpson Greg Sayers
To learn more about kauri dieback disease see here