Council votes to close more of Waitākere Ranges

Large areas of Auckland‘s Waitākere Ranges will be closed off to the public from next month.

Auckland Council staff speak with walkers about Kauri dieback on Kitekite Falls trail. Photo: Nita Blake-Persen/RNZ

In December, the council closed 44 tracks at high-risk of enabling people to spread kauri dieback disease through infected soil carried on shoes.

Waitakere Ranges Regional Park current track status. Photo: Supplied / Auckland Council

In the last five years the disease has doubled to 20 percent of kauri in the forest.

In February the council‘s environment committee , and to close high-risk tracks in the Hunua Ranges in order to prevent the spread of kauri dieback.

Today Auckland Councillors voted in favour of the proposal, meaning from next month all forested areas in Waitākere will be closed to the public with only selected tracks remaining open that are at a standard where they pose little to no risk of spreading the disease.

Waitakere Ranges Regional Park current track status. Photo: Supplied / Auckland Council

More than 800 people provided feedback on the idea including local businesses who say they will suffer as a result.

The owner of Awol Adventures, Cam Bowen, told the council he has spent 20 years building up his business in the forest, and it won‘t survive if the park is closed.