Walking tracks will be closed – some indefinitely – boardwalks replaced, and hygiene stations installed in several local parks and reserves next year as part of a major Auckland Council programme aimed at mitigating the spread and effect of kauri dieback.
A $4.4 million works programme for reserves in Warkworth, Wellsford, Martins Bay, Matheson Bay, Whangateau, Kaipara Flats, Pohuehue, Omeru and Dairy Flat was approved by the Rodney Local Board at a meeting last month.
Work in some will start before Christmas, but the bulk of the activity will take place over the summer of 2020, or next spring where resource consents are required.
By far the biggest local project will be at Parry Kauri Park in Warkworth, where a $3.8 million programme to upgrade the whole track network and entrance to kauri-safe standards will begin next October.
The cost of the mitigation programme is being met by Council’s Natural Environmental Targeted Rate that was approved as part of Council’s 10 Year budget in June last year. Around $105 million, or a third of that funding, will be focused on managing kauri dieback throughout the Auckland region, with projects in Rodney adding up to just over $4.4 million.
Council parks and places specialist Katharine Black said Rodney was the last Local Board to sign off on the Auckland-wide programme, and the final schedule was a result of extensive consultation and workshops.
Newly-elected Warkworth member Steven Garner asked about the risks of contamination from vectors other than people. He was told by principal sports parks advisor, Grant Jennings, that stock and dogs could be a problem, though not as much as humans.
“Is it actually going to have any net effect at all?” Mr Garner asked. “The amount of money being spent seems excessive; it doesn’t quite sit well.”
Mr Jennings said the idea was to create “kauri sanctuaries”, so that even if other trees died, there would still be places where the trees were protected and could survive.
Members voted to approve the mitigation work programme to protect healthy kauri and reduce the impact of kauri dieback disease in the Rodney Local Board area, and requested an updated timing schedule.
|Brick Bay Drive Reserve, Sandspit||Close track indefinitely – provide buffer planting and/or signage and barriers||$2000|
|Brick Bay Drive – Puriri Place Reserve||Close track indefinitely – provide buffer planting and/or signage and barriers.||$2000|
|Currys Bush Reserve, Wellsford||Determine one entry point at southern entrance and install hygiene station
Upgrade western track to kauri-safe standard with geoweb, BAM and fencing Reopen track following mitigation.
|Kowhai Park, Warkworth||Upgrade whole track network to kauri-safe standards including:
Track to retirement home (with approval, as on private land)
Mitigation around lone kauri on western track
Install new track surface across grass area from eastern track to carpark
Install high use hygiene stations
Reopen closed track after mitigation.
|Leigh Harbour Cove Walkway||No action required. Already upgraded to kauri-safe standard.||$0|
|Martins Bay Holiday Park||Close all tracks indefinitely to protect kauri – provide buffer planting and/or signage and barriers.||$4000|
|Matheson Bay Reserve||Minor mitigation works to bring track up to kauri-safe standard with geoweb, BAM and protection fencing
Install high use hygiene stations.
|Parry Kauri Park, Warkworth||Upgrade whole track network in stages to kauri-safe standards, including:
At entrance/carpark, provide platform and fencing for viewing of large kauri (to restrict access to kauri root zone)
Reduce access to single entry with high use cleaning station
Upgrade entire track network with boardwalk
Provide new track link connecting the central track to the western track
Indefinite closure of track at north eastern exit (pocket of kauri here).
|$0.8m – Entrance
$1.5m – kauri dieback
$1.5m – track renewals
|Duck Creek Reserve, Warkworth||This park is infected with kauri dieback and public access should be discouraged (no existing formal tracks). Provide barrier planting, signage and barriers.||$2000|
|McElroy Reserve, Pohuehue||Close all tracks indefinitely to protect kauri (provide buffer planting and/or signage and barriers).||$4000|
|Whangateau Domain Recreation Reserve||Provide signage and/or barriers to restrict access.||$2000|
|Morrison Scenic Reserve, Kaipara Flats||This park is infected with kauri dieback and public access should be discouraged. (no existing formal tracks). Provide barrier planting, signage and barriers.||$2000|
|Sesquicentennial Walkway, Warkworth||Mulch should be provided around the trees to restrict access
Possible signage to be considered.