[5 July/Radio NZ]

The Ministry for Primary Industries defended its leadership of the kauri dieback programme. Dr Amanda Black of the Lincoln University Bio-Protection Research Centre said the programme was a trainwreck. She added there was week governance around the programme, and people involved with management of the programme did not know how to procure research. She noted there was also some non-delivery in key science areas which led to the further demise of trees. The Ministry’s Conservation Adviser, Eric van Eyndhoven, said the governance group was advised by scientists and that it was very easy to criticise from the outside. He added there was competing priorities for research funding. The research funding currently stands at more than $2.6 million per year. Dr Black noted Waipoua was in urgent need of a crisis management plan to save the big trees. Mr van Eyndhoven however said the responsibility for soil sampling and ground work laid with DOC and Regional Councils.