The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is disappointed that Forest and Bird thinks it necessary to make inaccurate claims about combined efforts to prevent the spread of kauri dieback.
Forest and Bird has advised MPI that it is closing off its reserves with wild kauri as a further measure to prevent the spread of kauri dieback, says Roger Smith, head of Biosecurity New Zealand (a part of MPI).
"We welcome all efforts to protect our kauri and have been working in partnership with a wide range of organisations to support their local efforts.
"However, we are disappointed at the inaccurate claims made by Forest and Bird in light of significant efforts being made to combat the disease and to engage with them.
"Despite repeated offers by Biosecurity New Zealand to meet with Forest and Bird and specifically address their concerns, these haven’t been taken up to date. We are still waiting for a response from them regarding our most recent offer to meet and discuss these issues, and are looking forward to hearing back so we can share in a constructive discussion.
"We have also provided detailed written information to them in response to their concerns, and a huge amount of information about what people can do to manage the spread of the disease and the work being done by partners in response is freely and publicly available. This includes guidelines and other information available online.
"Forest and Bird's claims regarding comments supposedly made at recent public consultation hui are also incorrect and disappointing, especially in light of ongoing work to develop a National Pest Management Plan. Those claims are also at odds with one of the main themes to emerge from the various hui, which is a widespread recognition that a lot of good work continues to be done to save our kauri.
"We all want the same outcome, and we welcome constructive feedback and engagement with anyone in the interests of saving our kauri. However, misinformed comments do not help the national and wide-ranging effort underway."