Thursday, December 10, 2015

The vandals are back

Back in March, a pair of environmental vandals in Auckland tried to have a stand of 500 year old kauri cut down. People rallied to protect the trees, and after days of protest and a treetop occupation, they were saved, with the landowners agreeing not to cut them.

But they lied. Today, the chainsaws were back again - as are the protesters. The good news is that the contractors hired to do the deed have walked off the job after being made aware of the issue; they care about their reputation. And it would be a brave tree-cutting firm who took it on now. But now that the vandals have gone back on their word once, any future promise they make simply cannot be trusted. The natural suspicion will be that they are simply saying whatever it takes to get the protesters to go away, so they can murder these trees when no-one is watching.

Ultimately, the only thing that will protect these trees from the chainsaw is robust planning protection from the Auckland Council. While the National Party, which supports environmental vandalism, has tried to make this difficult, it is still possible. And the Auckland Council should get a bloody move on in doing it.