11 Nov 2019

Mt Albert residents protesting against tree removal

From Morning Report, 8:39 am on 11 November 2019

About 50 Mt Albert residents have set up a protest at the bottom of Ōwairaka, Mt Albert Maunga, this morning in a bid to stop 345 exotic trees from getting the chop.

The Tūpuna Maunga Authority plans to restore native vegetation and habitiat for native wildlife on the Maunga; and has planted 2700 native shrubs so far with another 10,000 to go.

But residents say the mature exotics are home to nesting birds and should be allowed to stay until the natives are bigger.

Mt Albert resident and spokesperson for Honour the Maunga community group Anna Radford told Kim Hill the group is in favour of planting natives in the area, but they're not okay with the removal of existing foilage.

"We totally support the planting of native trees on the maunga, that is never in question. What we don't support is clear felling all exotic trees from all of Auckland's mountains."

The Tūpuna Maunga Authority says some trees on the Mt Albert are invasive pest species and need to come out, but Ms Radford says she doesn't see any.

"I haven't seen any monkey apples or invasive species here. I think their definition of pest is a tree, i.e. an exotic that they don't want here."

Whatever happens, the group is committed to the cause.

"We're actually organizing rosters to make sure that people are here 24 by seven, because we are committed to preventing the felling of 345 exotic trees on Mount Albert," Ms Radford said.

"Also we actually want to stop this madness on Auckland's maunga because this has already happened on some other mountains and it's going to be happening in other places. So look out Mount Eden and Devonport and others, it's coming your way."