Protected Trees? - not in practice
Trees should be protected under the unitary plan because they are located on Open Space designated land and are over 4 metre and over 400 mm in diameter.
Of course were these trees really protected nobody would be able to obtain a non notified resource consent to cut them down. But we all know the protection of trees in Auckland is a nonsense and there is no protection for Auckland’s urban protected and notable trees.
The Notable tree Register is a nonsense really. All this form does, is give Council notice of a tree. The actual notable tree, protected tree, register is closed at present and takes an amendment to the Unitary plan to add trees. It is a complete nonsense and it is disgusting that it was designed in this way because to amend the Unitary plan is a long process – this just demonstrates the high regard the planners who designed the Unitary plan have for our very valuable mature trees. Somebody’s head should roll over this, in my opinion.
Even were we able to protect them as notable trees, the standards for deciding a tree as notable are so high most of the trees in Chamberlain Park would not qualify AND even if they did get on the register they can still be removed by non-notified resource consents.
The simple fact is that there are no protections for trees in Auckland no matter what their designation. This is because Auckland Council; which could protect these trees by making all resource consents to cut down trees notified, which could enforce proper $ values for Auckland’s trees and make those pay who damage them, and which could make the conditions for notable trees to be declared easier and which could refuse consents to cut down notable trees, and, not allow the designations to be removed (at present depends on who you speak to you can get the designation removed); chooses not to do so.
There is no political support for protecting trees in Auckland, particularly from Mayor Goff who supports intensification at the cost of our trees. He is not a tree man despite is sham million tree planting nonsense.
Written by Wendy Grey For Save the Western Springs Forest