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.

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NO MORE SCHEDULED TREES

NO MORE SCHEDULED TREES

Media Release – for immediate release: Sunday 8 November 2020 Auckland Council’s Planning Committee voted on Thursday 5 November to abandon any idea of adding more trees to the Unitary Plan’s Schedule 10 Notable Trees “until resources allow” despite an appeal at the meeting by The Tree Council to prioritise this work that would cost… More

LABOUR PROMISE NATIONAL PEST MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR KAURI AGAIN

LABOUR PROMISE NATIONAL PEST MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR KAURI AGAIN

Media release: for immediate release 12 October 2020   LABOUR PROMISE NATIONAL PEST MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR KAURI AGAIN   The Tree Council welcomes the recent announcement by the Labour Party to invest $32m over the next five years to implement essential work to protect kauri. https://www.labour.org.nz/release-labour-commits-to-stronger-protection-for-our-native-kauri The policy promises to deliver a National Pest Management… More

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NO MORE SCHEDULED TREES

NO MORE SCHEDULED TREES

Media Release – for immediate release: Sunday 8 November 2020

Auckland Council’s Planning Committee voted on Thursday 5 November to abandon any idea of adding more trees to the Unitary Plan’s Schedule 10 Notable Trees “until resources allow” despite an appeal at the meeting by The Tree Council to prioritise this work that would cost less than $1m.

In a two hour debate that verged on farce Councillors appeared confused over the purpose of the Schedule, the rules for qualifying trees and, most disturbing of all, the cost of the work proposed – despite it being clearly laid out in the agenda report.

Auckland Council has already received 587 nominations for trees to be added to Schedule 10 since the Unitary Plan came into effect. Many of these nominations have been waiting for years to be processed. In each case the tree(s) concerned have passed the extremely high qualifying criteria for scheduling, which includes the agreement of the landowner. There is no interim protection for these trees, so they remain at risk of removal without consent until they are added to Schedule 10 via a plan change.

This work to add the 587 trees to the Schedule was costed in the agenda report at $871,000 and yet a number of the Councillors confused it with the additional work required to review and amend the current 6000 trees listed on the Schedule that was costed at $2.5m. Councillor Christine Fletcher moved an amendment to delay the decision, get clarity on the costings and review the prioritisation of this work, but she was not supported by the Chair Chris Darby or the majority of other Councillors and the amendment failed. This was despite Chair of the Finance Committee Desley Simpson agreeing that a delay was a good idea and reminding the Councillors that “there is always money, it’s just how you choose to prioritise it”.

It was made very clear on Thursday that Auckland Council does not place any priority whatsoever on the most significant trees in the region and is not prepared to spend any of the public’s money to ensure their legal protection.

The Tree Council is appalled at the hypocrisy of this stance in the light of Council’s agreed policies both to protect and enhance tree cover in the region via the Urban Ngahere Strategy and to act to tackle climate change via the Climate Action Framework. Clearly these documents are not worth the paper they are written on if the protection of the largest and most significant trees in the region is not important.

“If Auckland Council cannot find $871k to finalise the legal protection of 587 of “the best of the best” trees in the region, then what hope is there for any other tree in this city?” said The Tree Council’s Chair Sean Freeman.

“The Councillors made it very clear today that they have no intention of taking the public’s concerns about tree protection seriously. Some of them seemed to have no idea what they were even voting on. Their behaviour was disgraceful.”

“This decision means that any tree not currently listed on the Schedule will not be protected and those 587 trees already nominated and qualifying will continue to have no interim protection and can be removed at any time. This is an appalling dereliction of duty by Auckland Council towards our urban forest. Ratepayers have nominated these incredibly significant trees in good faith – with the landowners approval – expecting them to be processed, added to the Schedule and protected. This will not now happen and may never happen. It is very likely that these trees will be destroyed before this decision is reviewed again by this Council.”

The Tree Council considers that Auckland Council is using the Covid crisis as an excuse to abandon planned work and ignore agreed policies when all that is actually necessary is a temporary deferment for a year until the next budget is determined. Shame on them.

 

ENDS

Image: Scheduled pohutukawa at Canal Road, Avondale. Credit: David Lockhart

 

Notes:

Video of Planning Committee, 5 Nov 2020, Item 10: https://councillive.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/video/051120-planning-committee-item-10

Notable trees and criteria for scheduling: https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/building-and-consents/working-on-around-trees/Pages/what-is-notable-tree.aspx

Agenda report of Planning Committee, Item 10:

https://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Open/2020/11/PLA_20201105_AGN_9800_AT_WEB.htm

LABOUR PROMISE NATIONAL PEST MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR KAURI AGAIN

LABOUR PROMISE NATIONAL PEST MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR KAURI AGAIN

Media release: for immediate release 12 October 2020   LABOUR PROMISE NATIONAL PEST MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR KAURI AGAIN   The Tree Council welcomes the recent announcement by the Labour Party to invest $32m over the next five years to implement essential work to protect kauri. https://www.labour.org.nz/release-labour-commits-to-stronger-protection-for-our-native-kauri The policy promises to deliver a National Pest Management… Continue Reading

PROMISES PROMISES FOR PROTECTING OUR TREES

PROMISES PROMISES FOR PROTECTING OUR TREES

Media release: for immediate release 11 October 2020   PROMISES PROMISES FOR PROTECTING OUR TREES   The Tree Council recently wrote to the leaders of all the major parties in the 2020 general election asking them to “make a commitment to support and enable the specific reinstatement of general tree protection on private land via… Continue Reading

GREENS KAURI POLICY WELCOME

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  The Tree Council and Waitakere Ranges Protection Society welcome the recent announcement by the Green Party to invest $50m over the next two years to implement essential work to protect kauri. https://www.greens.org.nz/greens_commit_to_protecting_kauri After constant lobbying for more investment and clear policy on this issue over the last decade The Tree Council and Waitakere Ranges… Continue Reading

MAKE AN ELECTION PROMISE FOR OUR TREES

MAKE AN ELECTION PROMISE FOR OUR TREES

Media release: for immediate release Sunday 4 October 2020 MAKE AN ELECTION PROMISE FOR OUR TREES The Tree Council has today written to the leaders of all the major parties in the 2020 general election asking them to “make a commitment to support and enable the specific reinstatement of general tree protection on private land… Continue Reading

Money for kauri urgently needed

Money for kauri urgently needed

  Media release: for immediate release 4 August 2020 MONEY FOR KAURI URGENTLY NEEDED The Tree Council, Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and Forest & Bird have written to Ministers O’Connor, Sage, Jones and Parker this week to request urgent funding for Regional Councils to implement essential work to protect kauri. The Ministry for Primary Industries… Continue Reading

Resource Management Amendment Bill

Resource Management Amendment Bill

The Environment Select Committee have just released their final report on the Resource Management Amendment Bill, which you can read at the link below: https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/SCR_96439/7ebfcb912ca459f322d27f4223d73b15d392fc9c Despite The Tree Council’s best efforts proposing they include provisions to better protect urban trees these have been ignored and the Bill now going for its second reading does not… Continue Reading

CANAL ROAD PARK: AN OPPORTUNITY NOT TO BE MISSED

CANAL ROAD PARK: AN OPPORTUNITY NOT TO BE MISSED

Media Release – for immediate release 8 December 2019 The Tree Council is disappointed to see listed for sale 3 vacant properties, plus a fourth with an older house, at 52-58 Canal Road, Avondale in a prime development zone. We met with the Whau Local Board and Council staff in May 2017 with the proposal that… Continue Reading

Tūpuna Maunga Authority Media Release re Ōwairaka / Mount Albert Trees

Tūpuna Maunga Authority Media Release re Ōwairaka / Mount Albert Trees

Media Release 14 November 2019   Ōwairaka / Mount Albert Trees   The Tūpuna Maunga Authority continues to work towards delivering the plan for the ecological restoration of Ōwairaka / Mount Albert, which includes the removal of 345 exotic trees and the planting of 13,000 new native trees and shrubs. Below is the Tūpuna Maunga… Continue Reading


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