The campaign to save the 6 pohutukawas over 80 years old on Great North Rd at the St Luke’s Junction took a surprising and wonderful turn on 20 Feb 2015 when the Auckland Transport Board voted unanimously to save the trees.
The protesters had turned up in force for the Board meeting, ironically held in the “Kauri Room” at the NZTA offices and in fact were so numerous that some had to wait outside as the room was too small to accommodate everyone. For a Board that usually does its business without an audience this was no doubt something of a shock.
Despite the Auckland Transport staff sticking rigidly to their line that all alternatives had been considered and there was nothing that could be done to save the trees, the Board clearly thought differently and sent their officers back to the drawing board to redesign the junction.
Poignantly AT Chairman Dr Lester Levy stressed that “Public and Active transport users were not served well by the proposed design”.
The Tree Council would like to congratulate Auckland Transport for being willing to listen to the public and to strive for a better outcome that will serve all users of the space, rather than just those in cars. We would also like to thank and congratulate the Pohutukawa Savers who ran a fantastic and well organised campaign and we look forward to working with the team again in the future when Auckland’s urban forest is next under threat.