Natives and exotics
Controversy about native trees on private property is at a head. It has been brought on by what I have long contended is lazy planning and resource management which is hog-tied by rules that have no respect for site or cultural history.
Ignorance is fuelled by illiterate councillors and mayors who do not know the difference between natives or exotic plants, let alone natives native to here and the unique variations that occur even in Porirua.
Planners, perhaps under pressure of the ministerial decree to do something about blanket protectionism have proposed exactly the opposite of what I have been suggesting for years; rate relief for those that have trees of note be they native or exotic.
This of course requires a lot of work and a lot of rigour. Information and education lie within that rather than legislation.
It could all be done with GIS applications which I have laboured on for 30 years. Twelve years ago I offered methods and programmes free to Porirua through the past chief executive and mayor in the hope that we might lead, but got no response.
To cover the whole gamut, one has to recognise we cannot live on natives alone and that the actual or real time ecology and its total diversity is the sum of both native and exotic plants.
For instance, have travellers south from Whenua Tapu noticed that as you enter Plimmerton by the weigh station it now looks like the outskirts of Aleppo?
The felling of the old Corsican Pines of a provenance akin to those in Pukerua planted by the noted settler Charles Gray makes me ask the following: If they had been planted by King Edward VII in 1903 would they have been spared the chainsaw?
Their contribution to all-year visual disguise of the grey concrete fortresses in the industrial area have seen them fall probably just because they are not natives.
The ‘‘nativism’’ propounded in council policy is in fact ‘‘reverse apartheid for plants’’. has found a place to live but nothing other than a couch and single bed to move in. That was a week ago, since then I have had people from as far as Raumati South down to Ngaio donate goods to furnish this house, including a fridge, washing machine, bedding, kitchenware, et cetera, some even brand new.
I cannot believe the generosity that some people have shown. My friend is now able to move into her place and have a fully-functional home for herself and her children, thanks to the kindness and overwhelming support shown by complete strangers.