Guy Burns stands with a foot on a cut Karaka tree at Wesley Knight Park, holding berries which are littered around the base.


Guy Burns and Bernie Randall in front of a Karaka tree at KCDC headquarters pointing to a sign warning dog-owners of the danger of the berries.

Raumati-Paraparaumu Community Board members Guy Burns and Bernie Randall are concerned precious Kapiti Coast District Council resources, money and staff time have been wasted cutting down two mature karaka trees in Wesley Knight Park, Paraparaumu Beach, because KCDC claims the berries are toxic to dogs.

“KCDC have planted karaka trees around their headquarters with signs warning dog owners of the risk of eating the poisonous berries and we wonder why signs were not posted in Wesley Knight Park in the same manner,” say Messrs Burns and Randall.

“Karaka trees and dogs have co-existed in Kapiti for the last 200 years or so. The trees that the Council destroyed are old and mature. Karaka trees were a valuable food source for Maori—these trees at Wesley Knight Park may have been planted by old-time local Maori.

“The cutting down of mature native trees by Council was an over-the-top reaction by risk averse officials and a complete waste of ratepayers money in an era of high rate increases.”