Public reserves are being sold by Auckland Council without public consultation – triggering outrage among residents and elected representatives.
The Herald has picked up concerns about the sale of Nihill Reserve in Mission Bay to neighbouring residents and talks with a developer to remove 15 mature pohutukawa at Margan Reserve in New Lynn as part of a large project on the old Crown Lynn brickworks site.
Panuku Development Auckland – the development arm of Auckland Council – said another 13 pieces of reserve land are for sale or being processed for sale.
Robin Houlker – whose home overlooks Nihill Reserve – is horrified at the potential loss of nikau palms – puriri and pohutukawa as well as birdlife as the reserve could be sold to a developer planning to build townhouses at one end of the reserve she said.
‘Even if they are not very big – small reserves are little buffers between groups of houses.
As we intensify I think people are feeling more and more strongly that they want to keep the green buffers.
(ed: i’m feeling a paul henry ‘council-bastards!’-moment coming on..
w.t.f. is going on here..?..
i dunno about you – but i thought they were kinda sacred/safe from developers – those reserves – that we didn’t need to worry about them..
how wrong was i/were we..eh..?
time to stop these bastards in their tracks..
i am feeling pretty dark/grim about the auckland city council at the moment..
‘cos i think one of the major assets of auckland is how the trees have matured..
and outside..on the berm outside my place is a tree i have cared for for five years..and it was kinda magnificent..the biggest in the street..i say ‘was’..
….and this tree was just one in a street ‘made good’ by its’ trees..
..and i had trimmed/trained(?) the one outside my house to provide a green arch over the footpath (high enough for cyclists to safely pass under..)..
and as well as magnificent looking it provided welcomed shade for pedestrians etc..in fact this summer i was going to put a seat out there..so people could take a break..i say ‘was’..
‘cos recently the contractors for the auckland city council asphundel (?) came to this street..and trashed it..trimmed the trees to near-death..
..turned what was visually an idiosyncratic-delight into a row of specimans in the aftermath of amateur-hour @ a topiary school..
..two men with chainsaws did this..and when i heard/saw their arrival i rushed out the door to plead with them to please stop!..
..telling them how recently a person from their organisation (asphundel) had come to inspect the tree..(in a ute/with clipboard – so i assume higher up the food-chain than the chainsaw-wielders..)
..and he and i had a long chat about the tree..and he made a couple of trimming suggestions – which i took on board/did..and he congratulated me on what i had done..and told/reassured me that they would never chop it all back..(which was the worry i had i articulated to him..)
these two people with the chainsaw just shrugged their shoulders..
..and kept on hacking into ‘my tree’..(as i looked up the street in utter dismay at what they had already done to the top half of this beautiful tree-lined street..
..i went ballistic..!…i yelled my head off at them..demanding they stop..
..they didn’t..and they hacked the best tree in the street back to a topiary-bush..
i continued going ballistic at them..and demanded to speak with someone further up that food-chain than them..
..they got someone on the phone..and he told me he would come out ‘sometime this afternoon’..(this was approx 11.00 am..and these chainsaw-barbarians still had half the street to deal to..
i started going ballistic at him and demanded he get here as soon as possible..’cos there would be no more still-intact trees by ‘sometime this afternoon’..
he tried to fob me off/told me how he is the controller for all the trees in auckland..and is ‘very busy’..and the conversation ended..
..he arrived about twenty minutes later…looked at what had been done…and closed it down…
and tho’ i was incensed about my tree..and the top half of the street..and he had no real answers as to why it had been so severely butchered…mine wasn’t the worst example of how blindly ignorant/incompetent these chainsaw-wielders are/were..
‘cos across the road from me is a fir-type tree..one where the branches cling to the main trunk..and go straight upwards..basically a type of tree that never/ever needs trimming..and this tree was a thing of beauty..of symmetry..
..now it looks like a gap-toothed monstrosity…the heart of it cut out..and it will never grow back….and i stood next to this tree with this top-tree-man from asphundel ..and he had no answer as to why it had even been touched in the first place..let alone desecrated to such a degree..it was a benchmarking example of illogical/irrational environmental vandalism..
..the only good news from this story is that the bottom half of the street still has its’ trees intact..(but for how long i don’t know..and that is what is worrying me..for these trees ..and for other (now) beautiful tree-lined streets..)
i was promised by this man from asphundel (who i gave my card) that the council arborist would come out and talk to me about this/what has happened…
i have heard/seen nothing from the council-arborists..and i have given it a decent interval..(them..i’m sure..being so ‘busy’..)
..so i am taking the next step available to me – to publish this here..
..in the hope this will alert aucklanders to what the auckland city council and their contractor asphundel are clearly planning on doing to all of aucklands’ suburban trees..
i can see the economic rationale for this policy/approach..(and i have no problem with intelligent-trimming) – in that such severe butchering means the trees will not need to touched again for many many years into the future..(it’s as simple as that..bean-counters ignoring other priorities..again..)
..as i said at the beginning of this piece – one of aucklands’ major assets is the mature suburban trees…and they are now in clear danger..
and my advice to any resident of a beautiful tree-lined street who hears the chainsaws approaching is not to do what i did..(and i am kicking myself for not doing this..)
..it is to go and sit under any tree you want to protect/save from these bastards..and to demand to climb the asphundel foodchain..
you can even hug the tree if you feel like it..but just quietly sitting there will suffice..
(and call out your neighbours – in fact a neighborhood-watch schema wouldn’t go amiss..an early-warning system..’the bastards are here..!’)
..they won’t drop the branches on you…and you could well save a tree..
..something i clearly failed at…
..just going ballistic as i did is too little too late..
..i would also advise contacting/pressuring city councillors…
..demanding explanations/an ending of this ‘plan’..
..that will be my next move..
(update:..i just got back from walking the dogs – and while walking remembered this:
in discussion with the asphundel -person who came out i tried reasoning/asking him had he ever been to european cities or places where green-arches over pavements/to walk under are an asset/something to be valued/protected..
his reply? i kid you not..!: ‘this is not europe’….
how the fuck do you reason with a mindset like that..?
..i know i had no snappy comeback at the time..
..i was left gape-jawed in disbelief..
..tho’ i did have one snappy-comeback..
..one of the chainsaw wielders is maori..
..and he told me he knew what he was doing because he is a ‘qualified arborist’…
..by this stage i was beyond incensed and approaching lift-off…
..and that claim further triggered me..
..and i snarled at him – asking if he got his arborist qualification out of a weetbix-box..or was it a two-day course..?..nightschool perhaps’..?..
..his reply was to accuse me of being ‘a racist’..(!)..(quite how he got there i’m not sure..)
..i (tersely) pointed out to him that i am a foundation member of the mana party..
and i guess that could qualify as a ‘snappy-comeback’..eh..?..)