Public protest has saved the Titirangi kauri:
The giant kauri at the centre of a protest in West Auckland will be allowed to stay.
Owners of the Paturoa Rd sites where the 500-year-old kauri and a 300-year-old rimu were scheduled for removal, John Lenihan and Jane Greensmith, have released an open letter saying the kauri tree can stay.
In a statement released to media, Mr Lenihan and Ms Greensmith, said they wanted to turn the two sites from a place of "conflict and division", to a place of "hope".
"...we don't want to play the games of others, games of blame, conflict and abuse, instead we have been trying to come up with solutions where no one loses everything but we all compromise," the letter says.
"Let the trees stay including the kauri which we have been calling 500, and the rimu called 300. It doesn't matter how old they are as they now need to stay."
The message? Protest works. Get enough friends, make enough noise, create enough bad PR, and your opponents have to back down (the difficult bit is of course that "enough" is a very moveable target). Its something we should do more often. But while protest has saved these two trees, there's clearly a wider problem of insufficient protection for them in general. Hopefully the Auckland Council will be fixing this quickly, otherwise its likely to face more such protests.