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Save our kauri!

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, March 9th, 2015 - 100 comments
Categories: Conservation - Tags: , , ,

I spent some of my teen years living in Titirangi. There’s an odd contradiction at play in that part of Auckland: a stark ideological divide between the hippies and greenies who head to the market every last-Sunday for some amethyst jewellery and cumin-speckled gouda, and the extreme individualistic righties who love the high property values and claim to love the lifestyle, but never got their heads around the fact that their lifestyle rests on their community and environment.

We used to tell jokes about calling the local rangers if you heard a chainsaw in the wee hours of the morning – not the police, because the police don’t investigate tree murders. There were dark urban legends about subdividing scumbags who’d find subtle ways to poison the trees when they were denied consent to chop down hundred-year-old natives in order to expand their master bedroom or investment portfolio.

You saw their fingerprints everywhere. The house next to ours was a monolithic slab at the end of a short, hazardous driveway. Its only aesthetic, as far as anyone could tell, was “fit as much house as possible on the flattest part of the section.” It was an utter eyesore, with no outdoor area, not even a scrap of lawn. It’s stood forever in my mind as the perfect illustration of that rightwing faction of Titirangi: why even bother living out west in the bush if you can’t actually live in the bush, if you’re stuck inside with the aircon on 100% of the time you’re at home? If you don’t even have space for a barbecue?

There was even – and stop me if you’ve heard this one before – an “independent” “business-friendly” local body ticket, Go Waitakere, who turned out to be a bunch of pro-development anti-environmental protection ACToids and were tossed out on their ears in the next election – because they’re in the minority.

That’s the conflict which has resulted in a mass community protest this morning against the felling of a 500-year-old kauri, and a 300-year-old rimu, to make way for a new house and its deck. There are only 200 kauri of this age left in New Zealand – and this one in particular hasn’t been affected by kauri dieback, which is threatening the whole species.

It’s the classic case of community vs private interests. Even someone with the smallest level of appreciation for our natural environment has to be awed by the idea of a living organism which has seen generations of humans come and go. The more of a filthy commo hippie you are, the more you find yourself thinking, how can any individual human possibly own something like that? Much less have the power to destroy it? How do you not think, “this is a treasure, and it deserves to be protected”?

But that’s the attitude of our present government and many other people. Short-term profit is king, environmental interests are just nice-to-haves. Even serious, practical considerations – like the fact that much of the value of land in Titirangi is based on it being bushy and lush, or the strain placed on local infrastructure by aggressive development – are ignored.

That’s what’s behind all the talk of RMA “red tape” and “bureaucracy gone mad”. It’s the catch-cry of people who believe, right to their core, that their individual benefit is the only thing that matters in the world, and damn the consequences for anyone else. That’s how we ended up with the leaky homes crisis – but unlike leaky homes, you can’t just “fix” the death of a centuries-old stand of trees.

Today, I may live in Wellington, but I’m standing in solidarity with the good folk of Titirangi who understand that some things are more important than making a developer a quick buck. You can follow the campaign at the hashtag #SaveOurKauri.

ETA: The kauri have won a temporary reprieve:

100 comments on “Save our kauri! ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    This is why ISIS smash statues: to destroy culture and impose their own values. A perfect expression of ACT beliefs.

    • weka 1.1

      very good point OAB. I’d say it’s also about the short term nature embedded in the NACT philosophy, whereby they can’t conceive of why it’s important. I see it with dairy conversions where trees and whole orchards are ripped out because this decade we think exporting milk powder is a fine way to make money. There is no consideration about the loss the trees and what is required to replace them. Esp insane in the age of AGW when we simply don’t have time to spare.

    • Murray Rawshark 1.2

      ACT may not be too far wrong. The developers seem to be stalwarts of the Northern Club.

      http://www.facebook.com/pages/RCG-Limited/283860111626855?fref=ts

  2. Hateatea 2

    The major problem that most developers have with the RMA, whether they be wanting to build something, change the methodology of their activity or just blatantly expand the footprint of their business, is that iwi, Fish and Game, Forest and Bird, DOC and local environmental groups have found ways to make it work for the protection of the environment.

    Sadly, that is why this government will act to weaken its effectiveness.

    I really, really hope that the Kauri and Rimu win this round, not the developer.

    • weka 2.1

      It’s a bit unclear, is this a new house being built that’s just been designed without taking the trees into account, or is it an existing house that’s building an extension?

    • greywarshark 2.2

      Whatever, the trees should be of utmost importance. Our kauris are under threat from nasty little illness bringing organisms so they are even more important than before.
      500 and 300 years estimated ages for the kauri and rimu?, that was before pakeha colonisalisation though early explorers may have made landfall and noted the rich extent and height of trees here then.

      If people want to build nearby let them incorporate the trees into their house placement or design. Wanting an uninterrupted view might be the reason for cutting them down, or the danger from a dropping branch or a tree could be a problem. But that must be taken into account when considering opening up land for housing so that we don’t give destroyers of the environment the right to do whatever they want so they can make maximum money for themselves.

      • Tom Jackson 2.2.1

        You are the Lorax and I claim my five pounds.

        • greywarshark 2.2.1.1

          @ Tom Jackson
          I’m feeling hungry and my brain needs some food. So I am not sharp at the moment. Can you pad out your enigmatic comment? I glanced through the Lorax book a while ago and thought he (Seuss) was really on to it. And his message is ever more real and pointed these days. Are you being sarkie? I’m thinking ahead that if we want to retain a green environment we will have to change our ways of using it.

          One point is to consider whether houses should be built near trees when they are going to be under pressure from droughts and fire. Worry, worry. Nothing can be progressed as before, without thought for a difficult and uncertain climate, and likely some anomic, destructive people setting fires, as a result of some brainfart they have had.

          Setting a fire at a house or nearby tree because their girlfriend had thrown them over for someone else, for instance. Or random lightning, heavy rain mushing the soil and removing its strength leaving roots with no anchor so the tree falls, etc.

  3. weka 3

    Awesome post Stephanie!

    I’m so grateful to the people who got out there early in the morning to stop this, and the dude that climbed the tree. We can do direct action well.

  4. Heather Grimwood 4

    Heartily concur……certainly need my little patch of urban bush though intrusive power and phone lines will mean trimming of it in near future. Hope successful result for you, the kauri and all our beautiful trees .

  5. vto 5

    All the best and go hard against the neanderthals and philistines and seal-extinctors and kauri-forest-extinctors and river-killers

    They are so fucking unthinking. It is like the colonial attitude of clear all land, drain all rivers and swamps, fell all kauri, skin all seals remains.

    They are unthinking fools in the extreme

  6. vto 6

    This is an opportune time to encourage people to plant more Kauri.

    Plant them in your garden. Plant them in the bush. Plant heaps of them. They grow fast – much faster than most appreciate.
    … and they do not become too large as they grow tall and skinny like a pencil for the first couple hundred years.

    Plant more kauri

    • Maui 6.1

      It’s a nice idea, but they don’t replace hundred+ year old kauri. It is a way for us to feel better about ourselves though while the greedy keep on abusing the environment. Hopefully local Councils won’t exist when those ones you plant get to a good age, then you know with real local community democracy the community will get what it wants.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    Stuff’s article includes a video interview with Aprillane Bonar: she was great: articulate and direct.

  8. rawshark-yeshe 8

    safe for now .. gratitude and power to the people on this one ! Only 300 this age left ? That is shocking to know. sigh … it is vital that Winston wins to save the RMA …

  9. mickysavage 9

    Thanks Steph. I was out there this morning with Sandra Coney Saffron Toms and Steve Tollestrup from the Waitakere Ranges Local Board. We are a bunch of red greenies dedicated to protecting the environment as much as possible. Yesterday we had a local celebration called Kauri Carnival that Saffron organised. This morning we had to go and face the prospect of a magnificent specimen getting the chop …

    Good to see the reprieve being granted. The basic problem is that the RMA changes from two years ago meant the application was not notified and the neighbours had no idea what was happening until it was too late.

    • vto 9.1

      ” The basic problem is that the RMA changes from two years ago meant the application was not notified and the neighbours had no idea what was happening until it was too late.”

      This is a perfect example of the sneaky small but significant changes the Nats have made to legislation all over the whole place. They are fucking sneaky and not to be trusted one little bit.

      I’m sure real Neanderthals could have been trusted far more than National Party Neanderthals.

  10. Sable 10

    This central government care nothing at all for the environment. Local government seem to be little better.

  11. CC 11

    Stephanie – Hope you put in a submission on Wellington’s Strategy and Biodiversity Action Plan (closed last week). The document contains excellent proposals that will no doubt be ignored in the face of deals with the Property Council – one of the beneficial owners of the Council. To add insult to injury, it is obvious the executive have honed a raft of strategies that, if it was the stock market, would look somewhat like insider trading. The big question is, should one bother making an oral submission when the Councillors are renowned for having cloth ears?

  12. M Scott 12

    Very worring, the reprieve is only because the tree felling company is sensibly backing off as it isn’t part of their brief to clear fell the local protesters, just to cut down magnificent old indigenous trees.
    It’s not just sneaky changes to the RMA, it’s Rodney Hide’s super dooper new city creation, which has neutered local politicians, both councillors and boards. The secretive Machiavellian senior council officers who like to work hand in glove (perhaps containing dollars?) with powerful city developers are also much to blame.
    Just had some American visitors staying. Sent them to the Matakohe Kauri Museum. They came back almost in tears and full of dismay at what NZers have done to kauri and totara forests over the last 150 years. And they are a staid middle aged mid-west couple!
    And we told them, if the early settlers had had chainsaws and bulldozers 150 years ago, there would not be a single native tree left standing in this country by now.
    When the rains come, here up north, I will plant another 6 kauri at my place. The ones I have planted over the past few years are all doing well. I’d better put in a few more rimu too.
    Kia kaha people of Waitakere, defend those trees!

    • marty mars 12.1

      + 1 yep as with vto – plant them out. I had a few at Muriwai when I lived there. Now at the top of the south we have a nice wee one growing – lovely trees – go well with the rata.

    • saveNZ 12.2

      @MScott +1

      It’s not just sneaky changes to the RMA, it’s Rodney Hide’s super dooper new city creation, which has neutered local politicians, both councillors and boards. The secretive Machiavellian senior council officers who like to work hand in glove (perhaps containing dollars?) with powerful city developers are also much to blame.

      Not sure whether it is incompetence, ideology, ignorance or bribery but the council planners have been caught out before in secret deals with developers and barristers.

  13. saveNZ 13

    It used to be the councils job to assess resources consents property. Now they just approve anything, (at great price) it is rubber stamped at commissioner level (and it has to be excessive even to get the commissioners to look at it ) and then you have to appeal it in environment court which is extremely expensive and well beyond the means of pretty much anyone.

    The developers know this, so they don’t even bother to keep to the rules of the district plan as there are so many loop holes there. now even private individuals are doing it. Private planners are making a killing by putting misleading reports in to get things through council, which even when proved to be untrue, means nothing to anyone except those affected.

    There is very little environmental control in the RMA already. So called environmental barristers are actually more interested in charging a million to putting that coal mine through, that non complying or excessive development and so forth. They would laugh you out of their office if you wanted to save a tree. Trees and the environment are not on their radar and they think you are a crack pot to care.

    Amenity is everything to the public though. Having trees, sun and light into your house, open space views etc. A great place to live is important. But means nothing to the council who’s interpretation of the RMA is laughable. They want to build over everything. Just plant another tree is their attitude. Concrete is good! The argument for development is that it helps because the waste water goes into the drains. Natural environment seem to have no real protection.

    The RMA interpretation is bad now (I say interpretation because it all sounds good in the district plan about protecting the natural environment – they just don’t bother enforcing it) but under National new RMA it is so much worse.

    Under National RMA you could just demolish all the bush in Titirangi for a retirement home, large development, etc. That is because you will not even be able to use the very underused rules of environmental protection anyway.

    Be very Afraid and just hope Winston wins in Northland.

    Soon NZ will not be Pure clean Green NZ.

    No Kauris either.

  14. Bill 14

    Hmm. And if chainsaw wielding hippies took to wooden decks, verandas and balconies…to give newly planted saplings more light? Just a thought…

  15. Old Mickey 15

    The RMA is an ass ! Cant protect Kauri tree, yet delayed our swimming pool consent for 12 months…..and we didnt need to cut down any trees….go figure.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      So therefore the problem must be the RMA? I think the problem is you.

      • Old Mickey 15.1.1

        You are so right. The RMA cant protect a tree worth saving, and council has knikers in twist over a swimming pool becuase of RMA. I can tell you the pool is in and sun still rose. Maybe RMA being poorly impemented and council bureaucrats more worried about generatign fees ?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1.1

          Or perhaps an incompetent, hostile wingnut with ideological objections to obeying the law turned what should have been a straightforward application into a wingnut clusterfuck.

          • Old Mickey 15.1.1.1.1

            In your dreams d**khead. Not enough space to to go into details, but council were foudn on review to have acted poorly and outside of RMA. We won, and got costs. Yay for us…

            • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, you have a bad attitude alright. Your remarks about bureaucrats attest to that.

              Why can’t you just take personal responsibility?

              • Old Mickey

                I did take repsonsibiliyt for my project, and as council eventually agreed, we followed the rules and they (bureaucrats) fucked up and didnt follow their own rules or the law. But if it makes you feel better, call that a bad attitude…….We followed the rules, and we have the bad attitude ? Look in the mirror buddy for the BA.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Look in the mirror.

                  As I said below: you started off with a false claim – “the RMA is an ass” – and have now contradicted yourself with a little help from me.

                  Your hatred for the RMA blinds you? You’re dishonest, as a perfect expression of everything you believe? You’re a parrot, mindlessly squawking right wing attack lines?

                  Which is it?

                  • Old Mickey

                    Not false claim at all jackass-

                    I believe the RMA is an ass on evidence of recent experience. The council bureaucrats demonstareted the RMA is an ass.

                    I dont hate the RMA, just on recent experince, believe it needs work when I compare my experience to this blog post re the Kauri tree.

                    Interesting that you think you have been bettered by a right wing parrot (which I’m not)….sad……sad……sad

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Misapplication of a law which has been in place since 2001, coinciding with a “super” right wing upheaval of the organisation responsible for applying it. Along comes a wingnut with an admitted bias against “bureaucrats”.

                      Nothing to see here when you’ve got right wing blindness.

            • saveNZ 15.1.1.1.1.2

              What council? Good on you for standing up to the council. Although the focus also needs to be the council focusing on the environmental effects too. Such as the ancient Kauris in this case that can not be replaced.

              The problem is the council fuck up everything and swing one way to the next.

              Giving normal people hard time and then turning a blind eye on obvious problems or protection of environment.

              • Tom Jackson

                It’s Hamilton, isn’t it? The awful ones are always Hamilton.

              • Old Mickey

                It was Auckland council. Was interesting & amusing to see the internal communication within council when we filed an LGOIA request. It actually highlighted the issues in the act and the interpretation of the act. The unintended consequences that are possible under the act do need to be addressed. The irony in our case was that there was a complete lack of focus on the environment by council. The closest we got to that was when council said what if your neighbour (residential zoned and populated) put up a 12 story building and needed a 3 level underground car park…..the example, like one anonymous bloke, irrelevant and living in a fantasy world.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  See the lies twisting and turning, the weasel words. Pretending that misapplication of the law can prove that the law is faulty.

                  He couldn’t choose between hatred of the RMA and hatred of public servants.

                  Get your lies straight Mickey Mouse.

                  • Old Mickey

                    I believe the RMA is an ass on evidence of recent experience. The council bureaucrats demonstareted the RMA is an ass.

                    I dont hate the RMA, just on recent experince, believe it needs work when I compare my experience to this blog post re the Kauri tree.

                    As for bureaucrats – only dilsike the incompetant, anonymous ones who are not accountable for their actions or fuck ups.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Their misapplication (charitably assuming that part of your false narrative has a kernel of truth) of a law that has been correctly applied tens of thousands of time since 2001 suggests otherwise. Your bias is showing.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1.1.1.3

              acted poorly and outside of RMA.

              And there it is: claims the RMA is an ass, then contradicts himself within the hour.

              Never trust a wingnut to present truthful information.

              • Old Mickey

                Hey Left wing nut job (not so anonymous) dreamer !
                Yes, I did say RMA was an ass to allow council plebs to fuck it up a pool, yet miss the boat on the Kauri tree – which is what this post is about. No contradiction at all – excpet in your tiny pea sized brain.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Don’t whine to me if you can’t take personable responsibility for lying. What a bad choice that was.

                  • Old Mickey

                    Hey Left wing nut job (not so anonymous) dreamer !
                    There is a difference between Whining and pointing out when you are just plain wrong.

    • saveNZ 15.2

      @Old Mickey

      Yes that is the council for you. If you have a very modest consent they can find so much wrong with it, but for large developments pay the money and the consent is yours.

      This is mostly because large developments have ‘experts’ who’s paid job it is to endorse the applicants consent. This means the council is only to happy not to use their brains to actually read the document or even check it is true. They just look the other way, and normally the applications are designed to be as long and complicated as possible to make sure it is beyond the reading ability of council planner anyway.

      No doubt the applicants planner in their application to fell the Kauris have many “reasons” why they needed to, but the council didn’t bother to check if that was true, or look at ways to develop around the trees such as reducing to one house or reducing the size.

      You know common sense for most people:)

      • Old Mickey 15.2.1

        indeed ! It felt like we were paying for a large developer expert given the mountian of paperwork required, and the mountain of cash also required ! I wondered if we were the first to ever put in a swimming pool in Auckland. The light went off when I did speak to counil and the contrcator admitted that it was all about the collection of fees !

        • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.1.1

          😆

          Auckland? You and that wingnut Rodney Hide made a clusterfuck together.

          • Old Mickey 15.2.1.1.1

            WHat is it with you and an obsession with ears ? WHats Rodny got to do with it ?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.1.1.1.1

              A contraction of “right wing nut job”: a quick look at your comments here demonstrates your membership of that particular group.

              • Old Mickey

                Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA……very clever. Bet you didnt come up with that.

  16. Not all of our treasures are above ground….Turns out Key was in Nelson on Friday to open a water bottling plant. Newspaper article says there are three people involved but did not name the third. They plan to mine fossil water and send millions of plastic bottles of water to China and the Middle East. Company is called E’stel Water, the owners named are Andrew Strang and Wayne Herring. Their advertising features provocatively posed Asian women, creepily juxtaposed with little girls and the claim that they are “sophistacated” . So how come these guys now “own” this ancient water? And how come one of the most wasteful uses of energy gets signed off? Is the third investor connected to the Council and or the Nats?

    • saveNZ 16.1

      Disgusting.

    • mac1 16.2

      http://www.3news.co.nz/business/miners-estel-water-bottling-plant-opens-in-nelson-2015030618#axzz3TqbPEvcW

      Mining water. Well, the two involved are West Coast miners who took redundancy from the Stockton mine and created the company.

      As for wasteful use of energy. We process water through cows with a lot of ‘wastage’ via irrigation and urine and and then export the product called milk in containers throughout the world.

      I’ve only seen their website and I think it’s an overstatement to condemn their advertising as you do. Estel Water is a Hong Kong-based company and I’d expect Asian women to be featured in their advertising. http://estelwater.com

      The worst I could see in both citings I give was the misspelling…………………… and John Key’s name.

    • Old Mickey 16.3

      3rd guy is Steven Ross Diskin. He is a well known builder/developer in the region. Cant tell if he’s a Nat unless success is the give-away.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3.1

        Usually the give-away is the self-attribution fallacy coupled with the Dunning-Kruger effect.

        • mac1 16.3.1.1

          OAB, had to look up the Dunning-Kruger effect. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect

          “The phenomenon was first tested in a series of experiments published in 1999 by David Dunning and Justin Kruger of the Department of Psychology, Cornell University. The study was inspired by the case of McArthur Wheeler, a man who robbed two banks after covering his face with lemon juice in the mistaken belief that, because lemon juice is usable as invisible ink, it would prevent his face from being recorded on surveillance cameras.”

          Thanks for that reference. It explains a lot in this world!

    • Murray Rawshark 16.4

      The provocatively clothed Asian women juxtaposed with little girls suggest to me that the third partner could be a National MP. The theft of a public resource adds more weight to my suspicion.

      However it seems that my suspicions were wrong. Not the first time:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/10647624/Best-water-in-the-world-made-in-Nelson

  17. Anon-o -mouse 18

    Presumable everybody who lives in Titirangi lives on a section where some Kauris were cut down. That whole section is covered in Kauri. So if you were truly collective you would each give $1000 of your own propertiy values, cut back on the gouda cheese and swap it for budget cheese, and reimburse the poor sod who’s section is unusable and who has nowhere to live.

    [Stephanie: This is some derailing rubbish. For a start, I clearly don’t own property in Titirangi! Try making your flamebait relevant to the actual post in future if you want to avoid a holiday.]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      A developer/architect who specialises in commercial property, wants to build two houses yet has nowhere to live. That sounds plausible.

    • Macro 18.2

      If you don’t like Kauri living next to you don’t buy in Titirangi! I’m sure there are plenty of other places the developer could have bought.

    • Murray Rawshark 18.3

      I think he already lives in Parnell. I think you should send lprent $1000 for spreading lies.

  18. Macro 19

    Go Renee! Well done all of you! Best wishes from Perth but it’s too hot for dancing here so I’ll dance your Jig when I get back. 😉
    30+ years ago I had a friend who bought a property in Upper Hutt which had several 400+ year old Rimu on it. Their attitude was – you don’t own these trees – you are simply their guardians for the time you have title to the land.

  19. Ad 20

    OMG Helen Clark just posted in support!

    This is going to be as big in Titirangi as the Pohutukawa Six were to Grey Lynn.

    We’ll be there tomorrow morning.

  20. M Scott 21

    Oh dear! Usual story, selfish thick-os blame the RMA when something inconveniences them and then tell you “it was the council what was incompetent, lazy, arrogant, lax, etc, etc.” So what do you blame – the law or the bureaucracy?

  21. Sookie 22

    Just saw some idiot GM from Auckland Council on the news saying you can’t change resource consent decisions. Obviously he knows bugger all about the RMA. He’s really earning his 200K+ salary.

    • Ad 22.1

      The Pohutukawa Six had also been fully consented and approved by Commissioners.

      Council and AT were stopped dead in their tracks by in-your-face activism.

      • Sookie 22.1.1

        Section 128 Review of consent conditions by consent authority – http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1991/0069/latest/DLM235230.html

        Tricky but can be done. Or else the activists can band together and force a judicial review of the decision. I reckon there are sufficient grounds to do that, so maybe they should start a crowdfund. Ideally this crap decision should never have been made in the first place.

        • Visubversaviper 22.1.1.1

          That section deals with reviews of Conditions of Consent. Usually for stuff like discharges or water takes where there is an on-going effect which may change with time. The ability to review is usually a part of the consent. Sometimes used for traffic effects too, with a provision of what will happen if the consented level of effects is exceeded. Does not – repeat not, nullify the original consent.

          • Sookie 22.1.1.1.1

            No, it doesn’t nullify the consent but you can review all conditions relating to mitigation of effects. If there was a condition relating to clearance of vegetation on the site for the building platforms the Council could look at it again if the application was found to be inaccurate or not sufficiently robust. It would be a stay of execution for the hapless tree.

        • Ad 22.1.1.2

          Sounds cumbersome and expensive.
          We haven’t had a decent stoush round here since the Waitakere Heritage legislation.

          Lawful is only a part of it.

          Penny Hulse’s entire political career was started on one major protest.
          And she won.

      • D'Esterre 22.1.2

        What on earth is the matter with Auckland Council planners? Have they no brains at all? Who in their right mind would approve the chainsawing of ancient indigenous trees? Really…. this is the most extraordinary piece of proposed ecological vandalism. Trees of this age should be protected: planners shouldn’t need a piece of legislation to tell them so.

    • Visubversaviper 22.2

      You can take an application for a Judicial Revue of the notification decision to the High Cout if you have lots of $$$$. However, that just looks at the process and does not revoke the consent. The best that happen there is that the matter is sent back to Council for re-considering. Otherwise, the Consent stays granted.

      • Ad 22.2.1

        Exactly. Direct community action on this one or chainsaws at dawn.

      • Sookie 22.2.2

        Council can revoke the consent if the Court rules the decision making was faulty, particularly in relation to notification to the neighbours/public. There is case law on this.

        • Visubversaviper 22.2.2.1

          A Judicial Revue may say that the process involved in the notification decision was faulty and Council may take the hint and make a different notification decision. Happened in regard to a dwelling in Piha a year or so ago.

        • Tracey 22.2.2.2

          Perhaps, given the Council’s investment in the stop the dieback strategy they might be found to have acted against their own policy.

  22. Maui 23

    Forced to listen Newstalk ZB today and Danny Watson was telling his listeners that it was alright by him to cut down a 500 year old tree as long as it went into making something useful like furniture or a boat. Wanted to slap him silly. Then some silly woman rang up and said just plant another kauri to replace it – how the hell does that instantly rectify cutting down a 500 year old tree?? Madness. There is less than 1% of original kauri forest left and Danny and most of his listeners think that private property rights mean they can do whatever they like with what’s left.

    • Macro 23.1

      Yeah.. its thoroughly depressing. Having title to a piece of land seems to mean to many they can ride rough shod over the interests of everyone else and crap on the environment. The utter hubris and arrogance is appalling. Danny Watson and the numbskulls who represent his audience are typical examples of the “Age of Stupid” in which we now live.

  23. Ad 24

    So here’s a question.

    Why am I now hearing that some Labour activists in the west would not protest to save this multi-hundred year Kauri tree and Rimu tree in their own part of town, but were quite prepared to join the crowd saving the 80-year-old Pohutukawa trees?

    Both had been confirmed for felling by Commissioners.

    • Visubversaviper 24.1

      So here is the answer – picture in my Facebook feed today of David Cunliffe at the tree. Also our own Micky Savage and several other Labour activists there on the ground.

    • saveNZ 24.2

      @Ad

      No surprises there. The commissioners is a tax payer rort whereby commissioners go around the country at great cost, rubber stamping the councils consents.

      Some one should do a request to find out home many consents are overturned by commissioners especially in Auckland. If it was working properly it should be 50% overturned, but my guess, it is extremely seldom, as the commissioners are unlikely to get asked again if they disagree with council planners…

      Lovely junket gone… Another pretence of democracy and fairness. Don’t blame the council, the commissioners also agree!

      Likewise environment court. Apparently practically impossible to get a consent overturned on appeal. Not to mention the cost to try.

      Makes the applicants ‘big it up’ they know they can be unreasonable, as long as the council is kept sweet and can be persuaded to support it, it is pretty much a slam dunk.

      Very few people can afford environment court and if you go, the applicant will try to do anything to drag it out to jettison money from the appellants and get them to give up.

      • Melanie Scott 24.2.1

        It has been done, but I’m sure it’s much harder and far more expensive than it was in the past. We saved Newmarket Park from the Grammar Rugby Club’s little scheme to turn it into a booze barn so they could sell the land they owned next door – back in the early 1990s. Luckily there were lots of indignant lawyers and other well heeled (and not so well-heeled) locals who were prepared to put their hands in their pockets. It cost us about $20K from memory but the chief planning court judge David Shepherd had no trouble finding in our favour, despite, community board, full council and lapdog well paid commissioners deciding in favour of the rugby club.
        The changes already made to the RMA by this govt would have made our success much harder and it’s clearly their intention to weaken it even further. However, I still think its Rodney Hide’s Super City changes, and a whole new irresponsible and craven culture within the Council’s beaurocracy that have allowed this dreadful decision to come about.

  24. vto 25

    That aint a 500 year old kauri …….

    very naughty

  25. nadis 26

    I’m amazed by this. I thought Kauri were a protected species irrespective of where they were and irrespective of the RMA or zonings. Like dolphins or kiwis.

    Personally I’d prefer to live in a house built around the tree rather than on top of the stump.

  26. Jay 27

    There are over 7000 hectares of mature kauri forest left in NZ. There are about 1500 nature trees in coromandel alone, and hundreds of them are older than this kauri. Heaven knows how many more are in northland.

    I can’t find the words to describe what a tragedy the destruction of our forests over the last 1000 years has been. I believe in saving what forests we have left, and in re-planting wherever we can.

    This however is two trees on a private residential section, not a stand of trees, or even a tree in a forest or in a public park. Their deaths will have basically zero impact on kauri or rimu in nz, or the recovery of either species. Trees have no feelings so, despite their ages, being cut down won’t be cruel.

    It’s the owners property, and therefore his trees. It’s a pity that they have to come down but it’s either that, or we put our money where our mouths are, pass the hat, buy the section, and make it a national park.

  27. Jozza 28

    Do what you can guys, that tree or any other must not come down just because some turkey wants to have a bigger deck on his new house. Bloody stupid council as ever…. good luck from Christchurch.

  28. Paul 29

    Great job. This needs to stop. Please let the public know what they can do to help. Keep it up!

  29. ray 30

    The strength of any political Council Governance system means a CEO has, supremacy, the upper hand, dominance, power, and control over what they call inferior and mediocre people; thus making ordinary citizens ineffective of their pursuits; and elected representative members useless. So kick out the Mayors and chairmen who head these “Government initiated and supported” autocratic organisations and get back to real democratic people power.

  30. saveNZ 31

    Don’t forget the council planners have also approved the demolition and extension of the ports of Auckland. The rest of the council who actually own the ports of Auckland and are the employers of the council didn’t know anything about it apparently!

    Who are these planners destroying our city without any democratic input?

    Should be obvious ports of Auckland should be publicly notified.

    Another good piece of news, Winston is vowing to stop the extension of the ports in Auckland and move the ports to Northland which is actually a great idea and with a real railway too. Kill two birds with one stone.

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