14 Sep 2020

Planners seek help with protecting West Coast's notable trees

6:25 pm on 14 September 2020

For any West Coasters with a favourite old tree they would like to see saved for posterity from the chainsaw, now is the time to speak up.

Rainforest on the west coast of South Island in New Zealand

A tree might qualify for protection if it is a landmark or important to mana whenua. Photo: 123RF

The group working on a new district plan for the Coast wants people to nominate special trees around the region that deserve a listing and possibly, protection.

Council and iwi representatives and planners are meeting every two weeks to debate the rules in the Tai o Poutini Combined Plan that will replace the three existing district plans in Westland, Grey and Buller and regulate everything from subdivision to heritage.

After recent workshops on the plan's heritage section, the planners are calling for suggestions from the community about which trees might be classed as notable.

"Notable" covers a wide range of criteria, including rarity, age, and whether the tree is associated with a tradition. It might also qualify for protection if it is a landmark, a relic, important to mana whenua, or has commemorative value.

The Tai o Poutini Plan Committee is also calling for suggestions about historic places and buildings that should feature in the new plan.

Criteria include aesthetic qualities, archaeological and architectural value, cultural and historical importance.

Nomination forms can be found on the West Coast Regional Council website and the planners are asking people to include a photo of the tree or place they would like to see protected.

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