$26m to fight kauri disease

The Government has promised more than $25 million to battle the outbreak of a kauri-killing disease.

The plan to invest in research, monitoring and preventive measures for kauri dieback was a key part of the Labour Party's conservation policy, announced earlier this year.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith said: "Kauri is an iconic species for New Zealand and one of the oldest and largest organisms on earth. Kauri dieback is a significant threat to their survival and we need to ramp up our efforts to protect these magnificent trees.''

There is no known cure for the disease, which has been found in Northland, the Waitakere Ranges, Great Barrier Island, and recently in the Coromandel.
Government planned to invest $15 million in operating funding and $10.7 million in capital funding over four years.

The money would go towards improving Department of Conservation walking tracks, boardwalks and hygiene stations, research, surveillance, and co-ordinating a response to the disease.

It would allow DOC to upgrade 100km of high-use tracks through kauri forests and install 300 hygiene stations.

The total conservation budget remained the same in Budget 2014 at around $340 million.

Government also allocated $20 million for freshwater management.

More than half of this would go to councils and communities to improve their planning and decision-making around managing local freshwater resources.

A $5 million fund would help communities to restore waterways through initiatives such as riparian planting and constructing artificial wetlands.

Around $3 million would be put towards implementing resource management reforms.

- $26.5m over four years for fighting kauri dieback
- $20m over four years to help councils manage freshwater

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