Media release: for immediate release Sunday 17 July 2022
The Tree Council is delighted to announce that we have settled, with an out-of-court agreement with Auckland Council, our judicial review of Auckland Council’s November 2020 decision not to allocate any resources to the management of Schedule 10 (Notable Trees).
The specific terms of the settlement are confidential to the parties and cannot be disclosed, but we are now confident that Auckland Council will take a more proactive approach to the management of Schedule 10 in future as a result of this legal action.
The Tree Council challenged the decision of the November 2020 Planning Committee and lodged judicial review proceedings in the High Court in November 2021. At that time Auckland Council had not added a single new tree to the Notable Trees Schedule in 9 years and had placed a statement on its website discouraging the public from nominating new trees because they would not be processed by the Council.
The Tree Council’s Chair Sean Freeman says “It is a disgrace that The Tree Council had to resort to court action to force Auckland Council to recognise its legal obligation to actively manage the Schedule of Notable Trees. However, we are pleased that this action has resulted in a positive response from the Council and we look forward to seeing a more proactive approach to their management of these important assets in the future.”
“The Tree Council requests that the public now let us know where the biggest and best trees in Auckland are located so that we can assess their suitability for nomination to Schedule 10. It is vitally important that we identify these heritage assets now and get them legally protected because they are highly threatened by the intensification and development that will accelerate over the next few years.”
If you would like to propose trees for assessment for scheduling complete the online form here. We will do the work of completing the nomination forms for all those trees likely to qualify and pass them onto Auckland Council for processing.
The Tree Council has incurred significant legal costs in taking this action and we would like to thank all those who have made donations to support this work. We welcome further donations, which can be made via our online payment form here.