Monday, March 09, 2015

A nation of loraxes

Yesterday news broke that an Auckland developer was planning on razing a 500 year-old Kauri tree - one of only 200 remaining - to make way for a deck. It was appalling news which showed a complete disregard for the environment. But this morning, protesters turned out to save it:

About 50 people have gathered to save a 500-year-old kauri from the chop this morning, and have scored a significant victory.

Residents of the Auckland suburb Titirangi have vowed to stop the felling of the tree, arguing that is unfair to lose such a treasure from their neighbourhood.

Contractors had been due to chop down the tree this morning but left saying they did not have the power to remove protesters.

Its great to see people getting out to save their local environment, and it shows that kiwis care about the trees and will speak for them. But they shouldn't have to. we used to have a law enabling local authorities to protect significant trees under the RMA. National effectively repealed that law. And the result is what we're seeing in Titirangi today: greedy developers destroying the environment for private profit. If we want to really stop it, we need to enable councils to protect trees properly again, rather than having the law effectively be a licence for the chainsaws.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to show your opposition to the murder of this tree, there's a petition here.