Na­tives and ex­otics

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -


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.

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