Stepping up the science in the fight against kauri dieback

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Media contact: MPI media team

Telephone: 029 894 0328

Email: media@mpi.govt.nz

Work on developing an enduring, comprehensive science plan for fighting kauri dieback, with both short term and long term approaches has taken a step forward.

Key science experts and thought leaders from science organisations, iwi, government agencies, educational organisations and Australia spent 2 days building on their current collective knowledge of kauri dieback, with the aim of generating a more integrated and enduring science plan.

The critical science priorities identified will form the basis of an integrated and enduring science plan being developed through the Kauri Dieback Strategic Science Advisory Group, formed earlier this year as part of the wider Kauri Dieback Programme.

Scientists, conservationists, and agencies around the world are grappling to find a solution to phytopthora pathogens that cause kauri dieback and other fatal tree diseases. Those gathered at the recent workshop are united in their commitment to fight the disease.

"Stepping up the science in a multi-organisational, aligned approach to save our kauri is a critical part of the solution," says Dr Ian Ferguson, advisory group chair.

"This means drawing from a range of disciplines, including biology, technology, and social science, with Mātauranga Māori at its core. This provides an important opportunity to identify critical priorities, ensure we aren‘t missing any ideas or innovations, and to help make sure that we tackle any gaps in our knowledge," he says.

"It’s important to remember though that the ideas generated are just a start, with more work to be done on the detail, and further opportunity for wider input before we finalise the science plan."

This work will complement and expand the focus the programme has had to date on developing operational tools to understand, detect, and manage the disease to save kauri, Dr Ferguson says.

The draft plan providing clear signals on science priorities will go to Government by mid-September.

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