Councillor comes to aid of trees

By Kiri Gillespie


A plan to remove a stand of pohutukawa trees at Mount Maunganui has sparked unlikely opposition from a Tauranga councillor.

Murray Guy has hit out at Tauranga City Council plans to remove the trees from Marine Pde, located between Banks Ave and Sutherland Ave.

Of the 11, two are expected to be felled within the next two weeks and the rest in five to 10 years, once replacement trees have become well established.

Mr Guy, who in the past has held firm to controversial council plans to remove trees from residential areas, disagreed with the removal of the pohutukawa.

He did not understand why the trees had to be removed, he said .

"It's a very, very high-profile site," Mr Guy said.

"There's a distinction between where trees impinge on the rights of a property owner - where the community owns and manages a tree that has a profoundly negative impact on the property - but in this case I think the community owns the trees in Marine Parade and they are located by a road causeway and are not impacting on the roading infrastructure."

Mr Guy visited the area over the weekend and said he found no trace of the trees causing problems. He loaded a photo gallery of the trees on his Facebook page to question what the problem was.

"It would help if I could actually identify any actual issue but I can't," he said.

"Are car parks more important than trees?" Last week, Muricata Ave resident Simon Taylor suggested that the council cared more for car parks than trees when the Bay of Plenty Times published a story about the proposed removal.

Since then, the issue has heated up debate for and against the decision.

Council spokesman Marcel Currin said most of the trees probably looked fine but the council's qualified arborists knew their stuff when it came to things like root structures and tree growth.

"That's why the replacement trees have gone in five years ahead of time to give them ample time to grow before the current trees need to be removed," he said.

"The replacement trees have been set back from the road so they won't cause similar problems in the future. It's about proactive management."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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