Environment Court Decision on Kauri Dieback Earthworks Rule

The Environment Court issued a decision on 16 August 2022 that directs our Council to amend the District Plan to make provision for controlling the spread of kauri dieback when earthworks are carried out.

The decision amends the earthworks rule in several ‘urban zones’ to include provisions to restrict earthworks within a ‘kauri hygiene zone’ (see the illustration below). This zone is generally a circular area around the kauri tree that is three times the canopy radius of the dripline of the tree.

There are particular rules for earthworks within the kauri hygiene zone. Gardening is allowed as a permitted activity but the standards include using only handheld tools and soil disturbance no deeper than 300mm. Some other standards include having an identifiable boundary of the kauri hygiene zone, and establishing a hygiene station to clean equipment used in the kauri hygiene zone.

Check the Environment Court’s ruling, available to download from the right side of this page, for the complete list of standards for each zone.

More significant earthworks, such as installing fenceposts or drainage work, requires a Kauri Dieback Disease Risk Management Plan to be submitted to our Council and may also require a resource consent.

A Risk Management Plan and a checklist can be downloaded from the right side of this page

The rules in our District Plan for earthworks in the ‘urban zones’ outside and beyond a kauri tree’s hygiene zone have not changed.

The Environment Court’s decision is the outcome of an appeal lodged by the Department of Conservation to our Proposed District Plan, seeking greater protection against kauri dieback in our district’s Rural, Rural Lifestyle and Conservation Zones. More background on the appeal and the Environment Court process is here.

Kauri Hygiene Zone

(Click the image to open a larger version)

Kauri Hygiene Zone Graphic