Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Chainsaws halted at logging of century-old trees

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The century-old Kahikatea trees at the Ardmore stand. Photo supplied

Kaitiaki (guardians) from tree protection group Mana Rākau are calling out the Government for its failure to return general tree protection.

This comes after the group interrupted the logging of a stand of kahikatea at Ardmore on Friday October 29.

Arborist and tree climber Zane Wedding entered the stand of 60 remaining native trees to stop chainsaws, where it’s understood an airplane hangar is being built.

The trees appear to be between 100 and 500 years old, Mana Rākau said.

“I got a phone call from someone passing by and came out – it’s unbelievable that in a climate and biodiversity emergency we are still cutting down old-growth native forest,” says Wedding.

More than 98 per cent of the pre-European kahikatea forest has been lost nationwide, scientists estimate.

“The Prime Minister is culpable for failing to protect trees in her four years as leader,” Mana Rākau says.

“These fragments of kahikatea are invaluable to us and should be protected but four years into the Ardern government there is still no general tree protection.”

The contradiction of NZ’s presence at the Glasgow climate change conference and lack of action on tree protection is “striking”, Wedding says.

“There is no way you can save the climate without protecting mature trees and native biodiversity.

“It is totally out of step with climate action for our government to allow wholesale clearing of mature, native trees to build hangars for polluting airplanes.”

Since the removal of the general tree protection in 2012, Auckland has lost over a third of its urban ngahere (bush).

“We call on Jacinda Ardern to bring back general tree protection now.

This kahikatea felling has to be the final straw. The Prime Minister must ensure that the large-scale loss of our mature and native trees is stopped.”

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