It's a victory for the people of Pāpāmoa who have long fought for the removal of six large pine trees they say have blighted and threatened their lives.

The 28m trees on Evans Rd were last year the subject of complaints from residents to Tauranga City Council. Residents wanted them cut down, citing safety and lifestyle reasons.

Tauranga City Council gave the trees, which are part of a green belt, a stay of execution but a few weeks later one of the then seven trees fell, landing in a car park. The council has also fielded requests from Ella Place neighbours to remove the trees at least twice before - in 2013 and 2014.

The trees produce large quantities of needles and falling debris, and block sunlight for several hours a day.


Yesterday, residents brought an appeal to the council chambers asking elected members to reconsider their October decision, which they did.

Despite expert arborists informing the council the trees were safe, most councillors agreed they needed to go. This was particularly so in light of last year's fallen tree.

Larry Baldock said it was "just crazy to think we would keep those trees there until they fall down".

"We have to make reasonable decisions sometimes. We have to be responsible about it."

Baldock described himself as being "a happy, proud member of the chainsaw brigade".

"Trees are beautiful but I think human beings and their safety and welfare is more important."

Terry Molloy and Max Mason were the only councillors to object to the decision.

Mason said he was worried councillors would create a precedent for any group that does not like trees to complain and have them cut down.


Resident Ian Craib was among the residents listening in chambers stunned by the response.

"That decision was the best decision. We personally don't have any problem with trees but the trees are dangerous and are a danger to many to the community."

Craib referred to one of the trees falling over last year and the incredible luck that no one was hurt.

"You don't get injured if one of those fall on you, you're dead with trees this size."

An Ella Place resident, who would not be named, said he spent five months of the year in the shade because of the size of the trees. The man said he had impaired vision so sunlight was especially important.

"I came here expecting a 'no'. I'm very, very surprised. My wife and I will have to go an celebrate."

The man said he and other residents loved trees and if there was only one tree there wouldn't be a problem "but there are six".

Residents have previously expressed concern about pollen allergies and safety in high winds.