Residents are outraged and council is investigating following the tree topping of five Kauri tree in Mellons Bay recently.
Auckland Council has confirmed that permission was not sought to trim the trees which are located on a council-owned reserve along MacDonalds Walkway and investigations are underway.
The five Kauri along with at least two other native trees were found with the tops of the trees sawn off, a practice which is known to be the most harmful tree pruning method.
The presumption among residents is that the trimming was motivated to improve the sea views for nearby houses.
Local resident Robert McCallum says he became aware of the damage by other residents of Mellons Bay who were upset with this “blatant vandalism”.
“I am astonished that somebody could believe they have a right to just destroy these approximately 30-year-old trees in this manner as the trees are in a reserve not on private property,” he says.
“It would appear that the topping of the six trees provides a view shaft to the beach for two properties.”
McCallum doubts the trees will survive the damage which has left only half the Kauri grove.
“As a relatively frequent user of the walking track beside this reserve I am saddened by this vandalism and would hope that the council take legal action against those responsible,” he says.
“If no action is taken (the trees are) at risk of similar vandalism as these trees grow. This is particularly poignant as the council and iwi are currently trying to stop the spread of Kauri dieback in the region.”
McCallum says the council should be more active in informing the public of their rights in respect of the management of trees.
The Howick Residents and Ratepayers Association (HRRA) is calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
“[We] firmly support the call for the council to take a strong line against this self-serving vandalism and encourage the council to seek to identify the perpetrator(s) and then follow up with legal due process,” says HRRA chairperson Gayleen Mackereth.
“A thorough investigation will also serve to warn others that the council is serious about protecting its treasured urban forests for all to enjoy.”
Several other residents have shared their outrage at the illegal tree topping and are calling for those responsible to be prosecuted.
Auckland Council would like anyone who has information about the unconsented trimming to call 301-0101 to aid in its investigation.