Kauri dieback

What is kauri dieback?

Kauri dieback is a plant disease caused by the pathogen Phytophthora agathidicida, also known as Pa. The pathogen is fungus-like and lives in the soil. It can kill kauri trees of any age.

Spores in the soil infect kauri roots and damage the tissues preventing the uptake of water and nutrients causing tree death.

What are the symptoms of kauri dieback?

Infected trees show a range of symptoms including yellowing of foliage, loss of leaves, canopy thinning, branch dieback and orange/yellow coloured gum from lesions around the base of the tree. These symptoms increase as the tree progresses towards death.

How is it spread?

PA is a soil-borne pathogen. There is no airborne phase. The pathogen is spread by movement of infected soil and/or plant material. Vectors for soil movement include humans, vehicles and animals.

Preventing the movement of soil and plant material by any means is fundamental to the management of kauri dieback. Hygiene around footwear, equipment and vehicles is vital. Removal of all soil is the key to success.

What is the role of NRC in Kauri dieback?

The Northland Regional Council (NRC) is one of the partners in the national Kauri Dieback Programme. Other partners include: Department of Conservation, Ministry for Primary Industries, Te Roroa, tangata whenua and other regional councils.

Our role is to work with private landowners in Northland to assist identify and manage kauri dieback. We also have a role to play in raising awareness and providing education on kauri dieback in Northland.

Open a larger version of the kauri dieback sample locations map in PDF format (1.4MB)

What is being done?

Aerial surveillance and ground truthing

Aerial surveillance was carried out across Northland in 2017 and 2018 to identify sick and dying kauri trees. A total of 305 sites were identified through this method on privately owned lands.

Each of these sites requires an on ground assessment and soil sampling. Council staff are currently working with landowners to undertake these assessments with numerous soil samples being sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Council staff assist land occupiers to develop management plans for positive and negative sites to protect their kauri trees and reduce the spread of kauri dieback.

Download a sample landowner kauri dieback management plan (PDF, 577KB)


A key part of protecting kauri from the introduction of the pathogen on private lands is to prevent access in and out of kauri stands and forests. This can be achieved by fencing off forest blocks, clusters and even individual trees. NRC staff are available to liaise with landowners providing information on how best to protect their Kauri.

Awareness and education

Council staff provide education and advice to landowners, occupiers, community groups, recreational forest users, off track users like hunters and trappers, schools and the public in general about kauri dieback and how to be hygienic and reduce the risks of spread.

Council staff attend events and undertake publicity campaigns to increase awareness of kauri dieback.

How can I help to reduce the spread of PA?

  • Make sure your shoes and equipment are clean of dirt before visiting kauri forest
  • Use cleaning stations when you encounter them
  • Clean your shoes and any other equipment that comes into contact with soil after every visit, especially if you intend to visit other bush areas
  • Keep to tracks at all times. Any movement of soil around the roots of a tree has the potential to spread the disease
  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times. Dogs can inadvertently spread the disease if they disturb the soil around the trees.
  • Avoid kauri trees and forests to mitigate the risks of spreading PA.

Scrub, check, spray icons.

Helpful information

Where do I report sick looking kauri trees?

Report a sick looking tree by using the "Report this pest/weed" button in our Pest Control Hub

Contact the team

Email the the regional council's kauri dieback team at:

Get more information

For more information on the national kauri dieback programme, visit:

Watch our video - Pest control hub - report it