The Keirunga Gardens trees will be managed by the community following a decision by the Hastings District Council on Thursday.

Councillors voted unanimously to set up a community care group to manage the trees in Arthur's Path, rather than to adopt their original draft management plan to chop down close to 100 of them.

Keirunga campaigner Pat Turley said the decision was "fantastic".

"I think it's an overwhelming success, it's a victory for activism and democracy."


He said ultimately he would prefer a community trust structure, similar to the management of Te Mata Peak, but that could possibly come at a later date.

Deputy Mayor Tania Kerr said during the meeting the job of councillors was to hear the community.

"I think my job, our job, is to hear what the community aspirations are and support them to achieve them as best we can."

Councillor Malcolm Dixon , who moved the recommendations, said the decision reflected the views of submitters, and have given a positive way forward for the management of the trees.

The council received 210 written submissions on the issue, with only five supporting the council's original draft management plan.

They also heard oral submissions from groups and individuals, including representatives from the Save The Keirunga Oaks campaign and the Keirunga Gardens Heritage Action Group.

One of the complexities which arose through the consultation process was multiple expert opinions which contradicted one another in regards to the management of the trees in Arthur's Path.

Along with the draft plan, another three possible management plans arose during the consultation process, one from Arborlab, one from Richie Hill and one from David Cranwell .


Parks and Property Service Manager Colin Hosford said there were diverse views from arborists.

"Our comment would be all those views are valid."

Based on the council's decision, the community care group will have to base the trees' management on what the majority of submitters throughout the consultation period wanted.