Po­hutukawa may still get a re­prieve

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS ETHERIDGE

A new re­port by Auck­land Trans­port (AT) says the steps it took in de­cid­ing whether to re­move six po­hutukawa trees op­po­site Western Springs are ‘‘usual prac­tice for plan­ners’’ un­der the Re­source Man­age­ment Act.

Its decision is not pre­de­ter­mined, AT says, or ar­ti­fi­cial.

The re­port, dated Novem­ber 20, was sent to a panel of in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion­ers who will rec­om­mend what to do with the trees.

The clus­ter of po­hutukawa lin­ing Great North Rd are in the way of a $70 mil­lion road project – the St Lukes mo­tor­way in­ter­change.

A new left-turn­ing lane where the trees sit is planned so AT and the NZ Trans­port Agency say they must go.

The panel’s rec­om­men­da­tion on the trees’ fu­ture is due on De­cem­ber 17.

Res­i­dents and sup­port­ers spoke out at a hear­ing ear­lier this month in a bid to save the trees.

The Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board, which owns the land un­der the trees, brought in a lawyer to take on AT.

The board says the trees should re­main, as they are be­lieved to be about 80 years old.

Chair­man Shale Cham­bers ar­gued their her­itage and en­vi­ron­men­tal sig­nif­i­cance should mean they stay put.

The trees are pro­tected un­der the dis­trict plan.

not city’s

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