Enlisting tourism operators help to save local kauri

Published: Thu 28 Jul 2016 11:53 AM
Enlisting tourism operators help to save local kauri
Accommodation and tourism operators throughout the Peninsula are invited to special winter workshops being held for the tourism sector next week to learn how they can help in the fight against kauri dieback disease. Organised by The Coromandel Kauri Dieback Forum, these workshops are designed to build understanding of the threat to Coromandel kauri forests from this deadly disease and to outline practical steps local hosts and operators can take to help prevent its spread.
The Long Bay Kauri Walk, showing the new boardwalk installed by TCDC. Photo credit: Vivienne McLean
“These workshops are specifically for business owners and operators in the tourism and accommodation sector,” says Forum chairperson Vivienne McLean. “The industry can make an important contribution to community efforts to protect Coromandel kauri and some operators are already taking this very seriously, because the disease does have the potential to impact on business. We hope more will recognise the importance of taking practical steps to protect local kauri. It doesn’t need to be complicated and can actually add value to the business by enhancing customers' experience of our unique but vulnerable environment.”
Workshops will be held in the DOC Visitor Centre Kauaeranga Valley, Coromandel and Whenuakite. Each will start with a visit to local kauri, where participants will learn about the unique kauri forest ecosystem and the species that depend on kauri for their existence, now all threatened by kauri dieback disease, as well as the relationship of Maori to the kauri and the ngahere (forest).
After the field trip workshops will discuss the potential impact of kauri dieback on the Coromandel’s tourism sector, and practical steps individuals can take to help prevent the spread of the disease such as setting up cleaning facilities and providing information.
The workshops will conclude with an open discussion on the potential of a “kauri friendly operator” industry accreditation scheme might work.
“Participants at last year’s workshops gave us the go-ahead to investigate how a sector accreditation scheme for ‘kauri-friendly’ tourism operators and accommodation providers might work,” says McLean. “Any such scheme needs to be driven by the Coromandel industry and deliver benefits to participants as well as to the kauri, so we are looking to get feedback on the issues we’ve identified so far.”
“If an accreditation scheme were to proceed the concept could potentially be expanded throughout kaurilands. The National Kauri Dieback Programme is hoping to send observers to at least one workshop to understand how the tourism industry views this opportunity.”
Registration starts at 12.45 p.m. and workshops will run from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on:
Tuesday 2 August - Department of Conservation Visitor Centre, Kauaeranga Valley
Wednesday 3 August - Coromandel Adventures, 90 Tiki Rd, Coromandel Town
Thursday 4 August - Hot Water Brewery, 1043 Tairua-Whitianga Rd, Whenuakite
All participants will receive a resource kit and transport to and from kauri will be provided. Bring walking shoes and wet weather gear. To register your interest:
Email the Coromandel Kauri Dieback Forum,
or phone Jeanie Allport 07 858 2384, or Vivienne McLean 07 866 5776

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