Western Springs Forest

On 6 April 2018, Auckland Council announced plans to turn a pine stand to native forest. It ambitiously envisaged ‘a functioning podocarp-broadleaf forest planted with kauri, pūriri, taraire and tānekaha.’ Before the planting can take place, about 200 pines will, they said, have to be removed.

What the Council failed to mention is that the understorey of the forest is dense with naturally regenerating bush as old as the pine trees i.e. 90-odd years, with some recent plantings.

The council also failed to make clear that at least 70% of the existing bush will be destroyed as part of the project. They also do not mention that they plan to make 15.000 plantings over a space of a few weeks. The  flatly ignores their own consultants who envisage a 4-year plan of preparation, planting and maintenance.

Worse, Auckland Council is wildly optimistic that there will be a functioning podocarp forest within our life time. The largest planting they envisage is PB5 – a potting bag of 2.8l capacity i.e. smaller than a big loaf of bread.

The fundamental issue is whether all 190 or so pine trees – some of the tallest trees in all Auckland, and visible for miles – truly must be removed all at once.

The images show what the forest looks like now and what it will look like with pines removed. But these are optimistic: the bush will be destroyed in large areas throughout the forest.

Best case:

What is being proposed:

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