On Thursday 16 April 2015 a public meeting was held in Kelston, West Auckland to discuss the issue of tree protection, following a number of high profile cases where significant trees have been threatened with removal in the city and have caused widespread public concern.
The purpose of the meeting was to inform the public about the current legal situation regarding tree protection rules with reference to the Resource Management Act, Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act, relevant District Plans and the Proposed Auckland Council Unitary Plan. The meeting was hosted by Forest and Bird Waitakere, The Tree Council, Titirangi Ratepayers and Residents Association and Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and supported by the Environmental Defence Society.
The speakers were Madeleine Wright (Environmental Defence Society Lawyer), Douglas Allan (Partner, Ellis Gould and Waitakere Ranges Protection Society Legal Advisor) and Sean Freeman (Arborist and Chair of The Tree Council).
The meeting was well attended and supported the following resolution:
“This meeting expresses its concern about the lack of sufficient tree protection provided by Auckland Council. The meeting supports a request to Auckland Council to:
1. Improve the tree protection provisions within the Unitary Plan to the extent that is possible within the current law, in particular by:
a. Introducing a second tier to the scheduled list of trees comprising those trees achieving 80% of the score required for scheduling under the current provisions; and
b. Continuing to support the proposed protections in the Unitary Plan regarding trees and forested areas within the identified Significant Ecological Areas;
2. Invite the public to submit nominations of further trees for scheduling in either the primary or proposed secondary tier so that assessments can be done with the minimum impact on Council resources in advance of any future plan change; and
3. Lobby the Government to review and relax the RMA statutory constraints on tree protection through its forthcoming proposed RMA reforms”.
Forest and Bird Waitakere, The Tree Council, Titirangi Ratepayers and Residents Association, Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and the Environmental Defence Society look forward to hearing from you with regard to progressing this matter.
Notes of the meeting and presentation slides are available atwww.thetreecouncil.org.nz
Thank you on behalf of these groups
Dr Mels Barton
Secretary The Tree Council, Chair Titirangi Ratepayers & Residents Association
021 213 7779