Another eco-battle is brewing in central Auckland as residents rally to stop a developer tearing down four 100-year-old oak trees.
Graham Roberts was one of about a dozen people today occupying the site of the planned $300 million Summerset retirement village neighbouring Auckland Domain.
"It is incredibly sad, a tragedy that these have to come down," said Roberts.
He had applied to Auckland Council to have the trees added to the schedule of notable trees, and requested Summerset delay their works until a decision is reached, but the company had declined.
Nancy King, whose father Leslie Harvey preserved many of the historic buildings in the suburb, was also protesting against what she said was another "atrocity" in the city.
"Trees are coming down willy-nilly all across Auckland. These large old trees are important, and especially in terms of protecting the climate.
"Auckland Council declared a climate emergency, but seems to be doing nothing to protect trees."
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Summerset general manager of development Aaron Smail said their development involved removing trees - including the oaks - on Cheshire St.
None of these trees to be removed were protected, nor were they native, he said.
The oaks needed to be removed for the planned retirement village, which would house over 350 people, but they would be planting "many" new trees, as well as planting and landscaping a 5000 sqm site at the south end of the property for public use.
Auckland Council has been approached for comment.
The protest comes as dozens of residents in another Auckland suburb Mt Albert continue their fight for hundreds of exotic trees atop Ōwairaka.
The Tūpuna Maunga Authority (TMA), which co-governs the city's 14 tūpuna maunga (ancestral mountains), plans to remove 345 exotic trees from Ōwairaka/Mt Albert and plant 13,000 natives as part of a long-term restoration project.
But a group of protesters have occupied the maunga since November 11, preventing contractors from starting what was meant to be a month-long job.