His­toric trees could be vul­ner­a­ble

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - ABBY BROWN

‘‘The trees were grown from seed col­lected at Chunuk Bair, Gal­lipoli and ap­proved by Coun­cil for plant­ing in 2008. ’’

His­tor­i­cally minded Mata­mata res­i­dents are con­cerned by pro­posed changes to tree pro­tec­tion.

The num­ber of pro­tected trees in the district could drop from 667 to 93 un­der pro­posed changes by the Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil.

The main con­cern for Pauline Raphael, who has sub­mit­ted in op­po­si­tion to the plan change, was that me­mo­rial trees that had been planted in mem­ory of fallen sol­diers, school an­niver­saries or other sig­nif­i­cant acheive­ments by schools would no longer be pro­tected. The coun­cil had met with his­tor­i­cal so­ci­eties across the district to ask for their in­put, coun­cil’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer, Adele Pre­ston, said.

Raphael said any­one who op­possed the plan change was un­der­stand­ing about trees that were caus­ing dam­age to prop­er­ties. She said if a tree was caus­ing prob­lems it should be eas­ier to prune or re­move.

Pre­ston said the coun­cil was try­ing to make that hap­pen, as well as re­duc­ing the costs in re­la­tion to pro­tected trees.

Once the plan change be­comes op­er­a­tive, likely to be later in 2016, any tree that is no longer pro­tected by the District Plan would be­come like any other tree on pri­vate prop­erty.

Raphael would pre­fer some­one with land­scap­ing and com­mu­nity gar­den­ing ex­peirence was also in­volved in the as­s­ese­ment of the trees in the area. She thought the Stan­dard Tree Eval­u­a­tion Method as­sess­ment thresh­old of 140 that Ar­bor­care were propos­ing was too high.

Pre­ston said Plan Change 48 was mo­ti­vated by mak­ing sure the pro­tected trees were still healthy.

An­other sub­mit­ter, Ron Moles, re­quested two Turk­ish Red Pines near the RSA sec­tion of Mata­mata Ceme­tery be added to the Pro­tected Trees sched­ule.

The trees were grown from seed col­lected at Chunuk Bair, Gal­lipoli and ap­proved by Coun­cil for plant­ing in 2008.

The trees were two of very few of the species in New Zealand – most Gal­lipoli pines in this coun­try were other species which did not orig­i­nate from the Gal­lipoli area, he said.

The coun­cil is call­ing fur­ther sub­mis­sions un­til Fe­bru­ary 18.

Sub­mit­ters will have the choice to speak in sup­port of their sub­mis­sions at the Plan Change hear­ing, which is likely to be in the next cou­ple of months.

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