This is a story of kauri and the disease that is devastating one of the world’s largest and longest-lived trees.

This is a story of people - mana whenua, local communities and scientists, working together to save a taonga (treasure) of the forests of Aotearoa New Zealand.

This is a story of citizen science in New Zealand and the creation of a project community to respond to a biosecurity threat to save kauri and the forests that depend on them.

This is a story of hope.

Welcome to this story map

Kauri Te Whakaruruhau

Great Protector of the Forest

Kauri are a keystone species that dominate the warm temperate northern forests of Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Māori refer to kauri as Te Whakaruruhau – the great protector of the forest, as they are known to shelter surrounding species.

Mature kauri emerge above the canopy of large trees such as totara, tanekaha, miro, tawa and rimu, while epiphytic plants and orchids are nourished in branches and unique kauri grasses are sheltered on the forest floor beneath.

Kauri are one of the largest and longest-lived trees in the world reaching heights of over 50 meters and girths of over 13 meters and living for well over 1000 years.

Listen to Dr Nick Waipara talk about the intrinsic value of the ngahere (forest) and of kauri to Māori, and the responsibility he feels to respect this taonga (or treasure).

Tane Mahuta – Atua of the Ngahere

Kauri are regarded by Māori, as a taonga (treasure) species and hold a prominent role in the Maori creation story as Tane Mahuta - god of the forest.

Take a walk through a kauri forest

This is a 360° video. Click and drag the screen to pan around. You can also view this immersively on a VR headset.

Now enter the story...