Where’s the one tree?

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By JENNY LING

TRIB­UTE band front­man Jamie Rowe is in his el­e­ment belt­ing out hits by U2.

Un­til it comes to the song One Tree Hill.

He says the tune frus­trates him when he thinks of the land­mark vol­canic cone and the time it is tak­ing au­thor­i­ties to re­place a soli­tary pine felled 14 years ago af­ter be­ing dam­aged in chainsaw at­tacks by Maori ac­tivists.

‘‘Ev­ery­body in Auck­land and New Zealand knows it as One Tree Hill with the tree on it. I think what guts a lot of us, when you look up at it, is to just see a mon­u­ment. There’s some­thing miss­ing.’’

Cen­tral to the de­lays are Wai­tangi Treaty ne­go­ti­a­tions on the man­age­ment of the site.

Mr Rowe has is­sued a chal­lenge to mayor Len Brown to ‘‘get his act to­gether and make the plant­ing hap­pen.’’

‘‘He would be re­mem­bered for a long time by fix­ing One Tree Hill,’’ Mr Rowe says.

‘‘There would be so many people that would as­sist and I’d be one of them.’’

Mr Rowe could well get his wish later this year when a Wai­tangi Set­tle­ment bill is passed, pav­ing the way for Maori and coun­cil co­gov­er­nance of the area.

Ben Thomas, press sec­re­tary for Min­is­ter of Treaty of Wai­tangi Ne­go­ti­a­tions Chris Fin­layson, says the Nga Mana Whenua o Ta­maki Makau­rau Col­lec­tive Re­dress Bill will be passed be­fore this year’s elec­tion.

The bill will see 13 Auck­land iwi and hapu, known as the Ta­maki Col­lec­tive, given a guardian­ship role for the vol­canic cones and other re­gional as­sets.

It will also al­low the Tupuna Maunga o Ta­maki Makau­rau Author­ity to be es­tab­lished, con­sist­ing of six mem­bers ap­pointed by the Ta­maki Col­lec­tive and six mem­bers ap­pointed by the coun­cil, plus one non-voting mem­ber.

Ngati Whatua Orakei Trust di­rec­tor Ngarimu Blair is con­fi­dent the new author­ity will re­solve the long­stand­ing is­sue.

‘‘It’s great that a U2 trib­ute band has taken such a strong in­ter­est in New Zealand’s at­tempts to right wrongs of the past.

‘‘Once our treaty set­tle­ment is com­plete then we’ll look at the re­place­ment.

‘‘We’re ab­so­lutely con­fi­dent we will come up with a good plan at the right time.

‘‘What­ever we grow up there it’s go­ing to be a tough job and a tough en­vi­ron­ment to grow any­thing.’’

Mayor Len Brown shares his sen­ti­ments.

‘‘I am hope­ful that with good­will on all sides, plant­ing can oc­cur soon af­ter the maunga co-gov­er­nance author­ity is es­tab­lished,’’ he says.

Get plant­ing: Mu­si­cian Jamie Rowe is frus­trated with the time it’s taken to get some ac­tion on One Tree Hill.

– Jamie Rowe U2 trib­ute band front­man

Mem­o­ries: The tree be­fore it was felled.

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