Ngā Rākau Taketake

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In 2018 and 2019 the Government announced an extra $34.5 million funding for research into kauri dieback ($29.5m) and myrtle rust ($5m). They chose the BioHeritage National Science Challenge to administer this extra support because of our collaborative and inclusive approach to achieving research outcomes and impact.

Ngā Rākau Taketake research ended on 31 March 2024

The programme name Ngā Rākau Taketake (NRT) reflects the historical connections Māori and other New Zealanders have with our kauri and myrtaceae trees. ‘Taketake’ refers to the permanence of that relationship. This programme aimed to protect and restore this relationship and connection.

Dr Maureen O'Callaghan (NRT Science Leader) and Dr Nick Waipara (Science Leadership Maori Advisor), who had previously  led the implementation of Ngā Rākau Taketake, along with BioHeritage Co-Directors Andrea Byrom and Melanie Mark-Shadbolt (Kaihautū Ngātahi).

In 2021, Maureen stepped down as NRT Science Leader to focus on other BioHeritage Challenge research areas. Beccy Ganley stepped up to take her place, having previously been a co-lead for the Host, Pathogen, and Environment theme and part of the original Ngā Rākau Taketake scoping group

As part of our 2019 scoping process, a Ngā Rākau Taketake scoping group scanned the research landscape to identify where the research and impact needed to be made in the myrtle rust and kauri dieback spaces.

They came up with seven themes of research, all working towards the ‘guiding star’ of:

The mauri (life force) of the kauri and of our native myrtle species are safeguarded,
sustained and enhanced for our tamariki and mokopuna.

Click below to read their full scoping report.

About Nga Rakau Taketake

Our Ngā Rākau Taketake Programmes

Oranga – Wellbeing

Te mauri o te rakau, te mauri o te ngahere, te mauri o te tangata: Mātauranga Māori based solutions for kauri dieback and myrtle rust.  …
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Mobilising for Action

Focusing on the human dimensions of forest health management, specifically kauri dieback and myrtle rust.   The inventory of research outputs and resources can be…
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Integrated Surveillance

A hapū-centric surveillance framework that focuses on the holistic health of the forest.   The inventory of research outputs and resources can be found here:…
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Conservation & Restoration

Ensuring susceptible plant species survive myrtle rust and kauri dieback.   The inventory of research outputs and resources can be found here: Conservation & Restoration
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Risk Assessment & Ecosystem Impacts

Developing standardised measures to quantify the impact both kauri dieback and myrtle rust are having on the wider ecosystem.   The inventory of research outputs…
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Host, Pathogen & Environment

Looking at the role environmental factors play on disease expression and severity, pathogen spread and establishment, as well as investigating plant pathogen genomes.   The inventory of research outputs and…
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Control, Protect, Cure

This theme will incorporate research from across Ngā Rākau Taketake, with an emphasis on novel tools and approaches.   The inventory of research outputs and resources can be…
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Te Whakahononga

In an unprecedented effort to save some of the most immense lifeforms on the planet, the Te Whakahononga programme is fostering a multi-disciplinary collaboration which…
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Along with our own research investments, we are working with those who already have much experience in these fields, including:

Mana whenua

Regional Councils

Enjoying our content?

Check out our inventory of research outputs and resources here

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