Media release: for immediate release Monday 28 February 2022
The Tree Council lodged proceedings in the High Court in November 2021 against Auckland Council’s decision not to process any of the 587 nominations it has received over the last 7-10 years to schedule trees as Notable Trees since the creation of Schedule 10 (Notable Trees) of the Unitary Plan.
This week Auckland Council has announced that it “is commencing assessment of 610 tree nominations for inclusion in the Notable Tree Schedule, with work underway to prepare a plan change for notification in 2023 to add trees that meet notable tree criteria to Schedule 10 of the Auckland Unitary Plan.”
This work is a direct result of our High Court proceedings.
The Tree Council’s Chair Sean Freeman says “we are delighted that Auckland Council has suddenly managed to find the resources to process these nominations, some of which have been waiting for 9 years. However we know that the number of nominated trees that still exist is very small, as the majority on this list have already been lost to development while they were unprotected and unprocessed for so many years.”
“The Tree Council calls on Auckland Council to re-open the Schedule of Notable Trees to public nominations now, so that any other special trees still standing across the region can be nominated, processed and protected for future generations of Aucklanders as part of this plan change. It would be irresponsible to allow this opportunity to protect these trees to slip away when there is so much pressure on mature trees with the intensification happening in our city.”
In addition The Tree Council implores the Government to reinstate general tree protection on private land in the proposed Natural and Built Environments Bill. Supporters sent over 2400 individual submissions calling for this to the Environment select committee on the exposure draft of the Bill.
The Tree Council thanks its supporters for the donations that are enabling this legal action to take place and welcomes further donations to support this work. Details of our bank account can be found on our website www.thetreecouncil.org.nz