An article on the Newsroom.co.nz website is below. We have made several mentions that a certain property investor/developer in Waikanae has an antipathy towards trees as he believes that his houses are worth more if they have all-day, all-year maximum sun — a belief we consider completely erroneous.
If such attitudes are prevalent among property developers in Auckland, however, it may explain this situation.
A new report detailing the loss of tree canopy in Auckland’s inner city suburbs over the last 10 years is being described as “horrific” by urban ecologist Dr Margaret Stanley.
The University of Auckland expert was staggered at the numbers that emerged from the publication done by Auckland Council’s research and evaluation unit. At least 12,879 trees – the report says the real number is likely to be far greater – were chopped in the Waitematā board area in the decade to February 2016. The area of tree canopy lost has been 61.23 hectares. Stanley pinpoints as the villain the 2009 change in the Resource Management Act that stripped trees of bulk protection. It kicked in from 2012.
The report says more than 75 percent of all cleared trees had no statutory protection and unprotected trees experienced higher rates of tree canopy clearance; about 60 percent higher than what would be expected on a proportional basis.
More than half the trees came down for “no obvious reason” – no development sprung up in their place.