Trees have a unique place in our environment. Without them, human life as we know it would not exist. Trees conserve water, make our air breathable, absorb air pollution, support our slopes and form the hub of enormous underground micro-environments that strengthen soil and foster insect life.
The Tree Council, Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and Waitakere Forest & Bird have all this week resigned their group memberships of the Friends of Regional Parks Society (FOR Parks) and will no longer be represented on the FOR Parks committee in protest at the submission the Society… More
The Tree Council has collaborated with The Living Tree Company and Auckland Council to produce a handy guide for professionals working in kauri areas about how they need to work on sites potentially infected with kauri dieback disease. This guide will be useful for arborists, landscapers, builders and anyone else disturbing soil or plant material… More
The Tree Council, Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and Waitakere Forest & Bird have all this week resigned their group memberships of the Friends of Regional Parks Society (FOR Parks) and will no longer be represented on the FOR Parks committee in protest at the submission the Society has made on the Auckland Council’s Draft Track Plan for the Waitakere Ranges. A number of individuals have also resigned their memberships.
Despite standing together to support iwi Te Kawerau ā Maki over the rāhui placed on the Waitakere Ranges the groups now say that FOR Parks is no longer supporting the rāhui and is advocating for increased recreation and widespread opening of more tracks across the forest. This is a position none of them agree with and they can therefore no longer remain members of FOR Parks.
Dr Mels Barton has been a foundation member and the Secretary of FOR Parks since its inception at the creation of the supercity in 2010 and says that “the core values of FOR Parks to protect the biodiversity and conservation values of Auckland’s Regional Parks has been hijacked by the recreation advocates on the committee”. She has resigned her position following the committee meeting at which the submission was agreed via voting on every single paragraph.
“I will not have my name associated with something I fundamentally disagree with and which is advocating further destruction of the ecology of one of the only two Class A Conservation Parks in the Auckland Region. These parks were set aside because their ecology and biodiversity is special and essential to the health of the region. The precautionary principle applied by the iwi and the Council in closing the park because it is not safe to keep it open is the right one. I cannot support anything that contradicts that approach and endangers the health of the forest for the sake of increased recreation.”
“It is disappointing that the FOR Parks committee decided to pick sides in this debate, rather than putting in a submission based on consensus upon the many points with which we were able to agree. Instead they chose to vote down and crush the conservation voice rather than encouraging members to make their own personal submissions highlighting the points on which they felt strongly. FOR Parks is supposed to represent both the conservation and recreation voice for Auckland’s Regional Parks. Unfortunately on this issue the majority of the committee decided that recreation was more important than conservation and so I had to leave.”
The management executive boards of The Tree Council, Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and Waitakere Forest & Bird were sent the draft submission, along with all other FOR Parks members prior to the meeting. They all agreed that they could not remain members if the submission retained the heavy recreation bias included in the draft.
The Draft Track Plan has proposed a staged upgrading and re-opening of tracks on the edge of the Waitakere Ranges forest and around the coast, focusing on reinstating the multi-day Hillary Trail. Tracks within the forest at iconic destinations such as Fairy Falls are also proposed to be upgraded, but the majority of the interior of the forest is not prioritised for re-opening within the next 10 years. The consultation asks for submitters to identify their priorities for the work on these tracks as well as whether there are tracks that should be included but are not, or whether tracks should be excluded.
Tracks will be reopened when they have been upgraded to meet an agreed standard and assessed as safe by Auckland Council Biosecurity working in partnership with Te Kawerau ā Maki as per the agreement made unanimously by all Councillors and the Mayor at the Environment and Community Committee meetings in February and April 2018. A total of $110 million has been allocated for work on kauri dieback over the next 10 years via the Environment Targeted Rate. This includes funding for track upgrades.
The Tree Council has collaborated with The Living Tree Company and Auckland Council to produce a handy guide for professionals working in kauri areas about how they need to work on sites potentially infected with kauri dieback disease. This guide will be useful for arborists, landscapers, builders and anyone else disturbing soil or plant material… Continue Reading
The Tree Council, Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and Friends of Regional Parks welcome the announcement by Minister Megan Woods that the research programme for kauri dieback will now be managed by the Strategic Science Investment Fund via the Ministry for Business, Innovation & Employment and that the budget has been significantly increased. This is an… Continue Reading
The Tree Council is disappointed to receive yet more reports of unnecessary urban tree removals from our members during our annual celebration of the urban forest in New Zealand Tree Week. In the week when our members heard from Professor Margaret Stanley the enormous benefits that urban trees provide for city dwellers at our… Continue Reading
As a way of achieving a better understanding of the role and value of trees in the urban environment The Tree Council is proud to announce New Zealand Tree Week will be held from 7-14 October 2018. “Following the changes to the Resource Management Act over the past five years and the impact of intensification… Continue Reading
The Tree Council, Waitakere Ranges Protection Society, Forest & Bird and the Friends of Regional Parks are delighted that Auckland Council has worked constructively and in partnership with Te Kawerau ā Maki to agree the final shape of the closure of the Waitākere Ranges. This closure, which takes effect from 1 May 2018, reflects respect… Continue Reading
Image: One of the trees, a houpara, in its new location in Teal Park (image: Auckland Transport/ Auckland Council) PRESS RELEASE: THE TREE COUNCIL. For immediate release – 15 January 2018 Last week a group of protesters occupied part of a planted median strip on Quay Street, from where 14 young Pohutukawa are being transplanted to… Continue Reading
Image: Dr Ian Horner Download the Kauri Dieback Science FAQ written by leading kauri dieback experts and learn the facts about this devastating disease. What it is, how it spreads, why it is such a threat to our forests. Bust the myths and misunderstandings – and understand the issues. Click here to read and download… Continue Reading
The Tree Council is delighted to announce that the Yellow Pohutukawa at 3 Church Street, Mangere Bridge will remain to flower for many Christmases to come. It was planned to be removed by Auckland Transport to make way for a bus shelter. On the day of the removal a passing naturalist who knew… Continue Reading
We would like to take this opportunity to explain to you why The Tree Council is supporting the rāhui about to be placed on the Waitakere Ranges by the mana whenua Te Kawerau a Maki to protect kauri against kauri dieback. The purpose of the rāhui is to remove people from the area to prevent… Continue Reading