Parts of Waitākere Ranges to Reopen After Rāhui

The lush Waitākere Ranges that line the western ridge of Auckland are home to some of the country’s most precious native flora, including New Zealand’s hallowed native tree, the kauri (Agathis australis), The Guardian’s Anna Rankin reports. For over five years, the walking tracks that lace through dense forest covering these hills have been closed to the public in a bid to stop a pathogen killing the ancient trees. The rāhui is about to lift.

Just two per cent of kauri forest remains; nearly wiped out through logging during the early to mid-colonial era. Ecologically, the forest is significant; it’s the last refuge for a number of rare species, including pekapeka, the native bat, and hosts some of the most significant old-growth kauri remaining within the city’s province.

The rāhui, conservation experts say, has paid off, with the pause from human interference allowing for a reopening of parts of the popular regional park that spans about 17,000 hectares.

While the rāhui is technically still in effect over the forest, the iwi recognised the pressure valve of public demand for re-opening.

“It’s bittersweet,” CEO of Te Kawerau ā Maki Trust  Ed Ashby says. “It’s good to celebrate it, lots of hard work and investment went into it, but there’s also a deeper maemae, or hurt, for us opening these things – and it’s scary.”

Original article by Anna Rankin, The Guardian, February 1, 2024.

Tags: Guardian (The)  Kauri  Waitakere Ranges  

Unique Prehistoric Dolphin Discovered

Unique Prehistoric Dolphin Discovered

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