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Speaker: Why all the fuss over six trees?

67 Responses

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  • James Littlewood*,

    Oops, unfinished sentence. The needs that the workers fully agree about are for traffic management to be extended to peds and cycles.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*, in reply to Jolisa,

    Thanks Jolissa. Applying my battle scarred self to billable tasks, but will digest this along with my pain killers this evening.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Bluesky,

    Rhys, This is a great observation. This issue is not just about 6 trees, trees can grow again, but it is about priorities and the complete lack of meaningful public consultation. Initially I thought it was a non issue, just another bunch of tree huggers denying progress. The city needs its transport arteries.. right?. But then I heard that the stated purpose for the tree removal was to make way for a cycle lane ( but cycles can navigate curves) or an improved exit ( there is one already) to meet a 10 or 20 year projected need. So of course someone should have been asking "what are the alternatives and who else are the stakeholders in this matter?" The blind "full steam ahead" approach suggests a serious deficiency in judgement and governance which should concern us all.

    A broader concern is that due to legal action from the Property Council and pressure from Wellington, Auckland Council was forced several years ago to remove its blanket protection on large trees which previously recognised their broader community benefit and required proper consideration and just cause to remove them. Most Aucklanders still believe that large natives are protected, but sadly this is wrong. Only listed or covenanted trees are protected and of the approx. 4000 listed trees the vast majority are on the council berm. Large trees on residential sections are completely unprotected. Only the landowner can apply to have a tree protected so the number of new applications is minimal. They can be removed without seeking any permit whatsoever and the tree removal business is booming. With the latest influx of foreign investment pouring in targetting subdivisible properties we are seeing people who have absolutely no connection with this country, who have no concern for local amenities or community values , who's only interest is in taking a quick capital gain to remit offshore, and sadly these offshore developers are reshaping and redefining our own leafy suburbs for no obvious benefit for NZ nor for the local community.

    It was a major mistake for the Auckland Council to allow itself to be bullied into removing blanket tree protection. The old argument that “trees weren’t cut down in the past so they are safe in the future” is patently no longer valid when out of town developers are putting densification ahead of community values. We need to come to our senses and reinstate sensible policies that retain at least major native trees as a key part of our built environment and natural habitat. The chainsaws are working overtime in Auckland, and we need to call on our elected council to recognise their mistake, listen to the people, not just the developers, and act now before it is too late.

    aukland • Since Feb 2015 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bluesky,

    A broader concern is that due to legal action from the Property Council and pressure from Wellington, Auckland Council was forced several years ago to remove its blanket protection on large trees

    More than pressure. The government changed the law, didn't they?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Bluesky,

    pointing percy at the proletariat...

    it is about priorities and the complete lack of meaningful public consultation

    Same thing in Chchch - just one case in point: Victoria Square
    sent in to fix some 'slumping' CCDU wants to spend $7 million, needlessly...

    CCDU has done little to explain in any detail why the large-scale changes it is proposing are necessary. Now, rather late in the game, it has cottoned on to the widespread opposition to them. Although it claims to have consulted before releasing them, the consultation did not involve the wider public, a gap it now proposes to fill with what it calls "engagement".

    quote source
    Here's the reason why Warwick Isaacs just wants 'engagement' :

    CCDU director Warwick Isaacs said yesterday he preferred the term "engagement" because "consultation" was a statutory process. He assured the public CCDU was genuine and willing to change its plans.
    "This is not a hollow engagement. We think taking a little bit of extra time will not do us any harm. It's a good thing to listen to what the public has to say and to take them into account."

    I see a t-shirt coming ...
    ...and are those tumbrels I hear on these rutted streets?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Bluesky, in reply to Sacha,

    Trees are just a symptom of a bigger issue. The government seems obsessed with removing all constraints on growth in Auckland. They act as if nzs biggest issue is Auckland property prices. Unfortunately they seem to be ignoring arguably the better economic policy of encouraging a more even distribution of jobs and population and wealth across the country. If Auckland prices itself out of the market then jobs and housing will spill over to Hamilton Whangarei Tauranga and other more affordable cities. Business is rational and will adjust to the changing reality. Unfortunately this government is trying to micro manage Auckland but not stepping up to address the bigger nation wide issues. They don't deserve another chance

    aukland • Since Feb 2015 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    James ! So sorry to hear this. Thank you for following up on it.

    And as if we needed another argument for fully separated bike lanes along that heavily-trafficked-by-all-modes (including kids towing kids on skateboards!) road.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to Josh Petyt,

    In short what I’m suggesting is that maybe we shouldn’t promise short fast trips through our urban areas. Perhaps those that choose to drive should do so in the full knowledge that it will be slow

    The Basin Flyover is an excellent analogy, and this is nicely put. And this particular case is a useful example of the lack of planning around what happens when Roads of National Significance backwash into Streets of Local Significance.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    “This is not a hollow engagement. We think taking a little bit of extra time will not do us any harm. It’s a good thing to listen to what the public has to say and to take them into account.”

    Jesus fucking Christ. We pay these people’s salaries. These are our spaces, our amenities.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Jolisa,

    that it will be slow

    That does depend on your definition of slow.

    In reality, at the most this change will mean a minute or two for any given driver, probably less.

    Like many things that happen in a car the perspective on time seem to be unreasonable. Most meetings at work run many many minutes over schedule; dinner out with your loved one has no time limits a minute either way makes no difference; a minute or two more sleep won't make the hangover better.

    But in a car people get violent about a minute.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Rhys Jones, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    So sorry to hear about your accident, James. (Actually not an accident - it's exactly the sort of outcome that intersection is designed to produce.)

    Your experience just highlights how hostile that area is to anyone who's not in a motor vehicle. And, unfortunately, the planned 'improvements' do nothing to make things less hostile. Which is why it's incredibly disingenuous of Auckland Transport to claim that the trees need to go in order to make way for cycle lanes and public transport infrastructure. If they had designed that intersection with active and public transport in mind, the plans would look very different.

    Anyway, James, wishing you a speedy recovery and hoping that your experience helps to encourage a rethink/redesign - so that we can all get through there safely, irrespective of how we're travelling.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2014 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    Action Station is running a campaign to save these trees. The Auckland Transport Board meets tomorrow, if you can get to the meeting it is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate the level of public interest and concern on this issue.

    Event: Auckland Transport Board meeting

    When: Friday at 1:00pm

    Where: Kauri Room, Level 11, HSBC, 1 Queen Street, Auckland

    RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1402802380025122/

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Saved, I hear! Helped by social media.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    NZ Herald: Six giant pohutukawa trees saved

    Six giant pohutukawa trees that Auckland Transport wanted to cut down to provide extra traffic space at Western Springs have been saved.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Deborah,

    NZ Herald: Six giant pohutukawa trees saved

    Six giant pohutukawa trees that Auckland Transport wanted to cut down to provide extra traffic space at Western Springs have been saved.

    Yes, but from the same article:

    The decision will start the clock on 15 working days for appeals to the Environment Court.

    So it's maybe not over yet?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I will quietly thank all those involved in the campaign, the next time I pass by those trees.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Good news. Now the formula just needs to be repeated with all the other pressing issues facing us.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

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