Na­tive trees felled in One­tangi re­serve

Waiheke Marketplace - - Front Page - ROSE DAVIS

The felling of about 12 ma­ture na­tive trees in an One­tangi re­serve has raised the ire of res­i­dent Ross Gille­spie. ‘‘It’s a scene of dev­as­ta­tion. ‘‘The whole re­serve has been ne­glected for so long it’s abysmal,’’ he said.

Gille­spie, who is the founder of Walk­ways on Wai­heke, has dis­cov­ered sev­eral ar­eas where trees have been axed in Tin Boat Re­serve over the past two weeks.

Ma­ture kanuka, ma­hoe and ko­hekohe trees have been chopped down, while mas­sive po­hutukawa trees have had branches chopped off, he said.

Sev­eral na­tive trees have been sawn part-way through but re­main stand­ing.

‘‘A pocket of sig­nif­i­cant na­tive trees well in­side the re­serve has been chain­sawed in the rough­est man­ner.

‘‘This type of van­dal­ism is what hap­pens when pub­lic ac­cess is de­nied,’’ Gille­spie said.

He has been calling for more tracks to be cre­ated in the re­serve for more than 10 years, but said Auck­land Coun­cil of­fi­cers have ig­nored his re­quests for bet­ter pub­lic ac­cess.

‘‘Other re­serves and ac­cess­ways across the is­land are sim­i­larly lost or ne­glected and need clear de­mar­ca­tion and a pub­lic pres­ence,’’ he said.

Gille­spie has marked an in­for­mal path­way at Tin Boat Re­serve with a sign and white rib­bons around trees.

Build­ing ma­te­ri­als and a dis­man­tled car body have also been dumped on the re­serve.

Coun­cil man­ager reg­u­la­tory com­pli­ance Steve Pearce said the coun­cil was not aware of any na­tive trees be­ing felled at the re­serve, but is now in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

The coun­cil is aware of dump­ing on the re­serve.

‘‘A neigh­bour has al­ready re­moved a struc­ture off the re­serve fol­low­ing en­force­ment ac­tion.

‘‘We will dis­cuss the fur­ther re­moval of the scrapped car and poles and con­sider if en­force­ment ac­tion is ap­pro­pri­ate,’’ Pearce said.

Na­tive trees more than three me­tres high are gen­er­ally pro­tected on Wai­heke. Re­source con­sent is needed be­fore prun­ing with tools apart from hand­held se­ca­teurs or shears. Coun­cil con­sent is also needed when work­ing be­neath the dripline of pro­tected na­tive trees.

Peo­ple who see il­le­gal tree works or want in­for­ma­tion on tree cut­ting can phone the coun­cil on (09) 301 0101.

Ross Gille­spie is up­set over the felling of na­tive trees in a Wai­heke re­serve. ROSE DAVIS/STUFF

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