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 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 AGM we have lost more mature pohutukawa in Reihana Street, Ōrākei.
Local resident Paul Baragwanath has written to government ministers, including Environment Minister David Parker and Housing Minister Phil Twyford, to demand that urban trees are better protected.
Mr Baragwanath said “It is with horror that I have observed today one of the last great pohutukawa trees of Ōrākei, Auckland, being felled before my eyes. The tree was situated on the boundary between 75 and 77 Reihana Street. 75 is owned by Housing New Zealand. 77 is owned by a property developer. Due to a spurious complaint by the developer about this tree hampering a new retaining wall, a Housing New Zealand agent agreed to the property developer’s request to cut down this great tree.”
“This may seem insignificant to you. But it is just the latest. And your policies are responsible. This tree was one of only two out of at least ten that have vanished from this street alone in the past few years since the Government removed protection of trees. There is only one left in this street! This street is just one of thousands.”
“Every year for 100 years at Christmas this great tree – and all the others that have vanished – glowed red. A rare haven for birds. It lifted the spirit of this area: it rose above asphalt and housing. Now there is nothing.”
The Tree Council supports Mr Baragwanath’s call for the Government to take urgent action to restore protection for urban trees. The pressure of development is increasing daily and the current lack of protection enables decisions to be made hastily and without any process of consideration of the values and benefits of these trees to the people of Auckland and future residents of these houses.
By the time we all wake up and realise what we have lost it will be too late.
The Tree Council encourages all those who wish to live in New Zealand cities that value their trees, and the benefits and services they provide, to write to Hon. David Parker at email@example.com asking him to urgently restore protection to urban trees.