New plants in east frame already dying
New plants in a central Christchurch park are dying and have to be replaced.
The $30 million taxpayerfunded Rauora Park opened in the city’s east frame in December with 14,000 plants, including 312 trees. A large number are now dead or dying.
Crown rebuild company O¯ ta¯karo says some deaths were inevitable but plant experts say the work was poorly planned and done with no respect for the plants.
The dead plants include lancewood trees and hebe shrubs.
Landscape architect Di Lucas said the processes followed had created ‘‘a major issue’’. Plants were in some cases not suited to their location and there was no irrigation, leading to the deaths, she said.
‘‘There was some really good initial design and then sadly the execution was dumbed down through Government processes,’’ she said. ‘‘Some of it has been unbelievably stupid.’’
Paul Michael, who owns specialised nursery Fern Factor, said some poor decisions about what, when and how to plant were made by ‘‘bean counters who know nothing about plants’’.
Some of the work was rushed, rather than having the right plants grown to order and put into properly prepared and irrigated sites at the right time of year, he said.
‘‘It’s like they are buying a lump of concrete or something off the shelf. But they’re not. These are living, breathing plants.
‘‘They put the plants in the ground like a box-ticking exercise. It’s penny pinching. Now they have to replant and it’s false economy.
An O¯ ta¯ karo spokesman said the deaths in Rauora Park were expected because of the large number of new plants. Some had died and others had been vandalised, he said.
‘‘As it is now the planting season, the contractor will begin replacing these plants later this month.’’
The replacement planting work was paid for as part of contractor City Care’s construction contract with O¯ ta¯ karo, he said.
A City Care spokesman said they were starting to replace the affected plants now but declined to comment on how or why the problems happened.
Dead and dying hebes and lancewood in Rauora Park, which is part of central Christchurch’s new east frame.