Matua Pouroto on trees

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The TMA creeps

Tupuna Maunga Authority extends its area of influence over consents etc.

Time for anyone and everyone living or working within or even near any of these pink zones of Tūpuna Maunga Authority (TMA) control. TMA have given themselves oversight of subdivision, stormwater and wastewater, earthworks, height and other matters that may require resource consent.

For full details, download the details and maps compiled from official Auckland Unitary Plan geomaps overlays.

Here are a few examples:

Maungakiekie – One Tree Hill
ŌWAIRAKA-MOUNT-ALBERT
Ōwairaka – Mount Albert

This is the overall map for Auckland. Check the full document compiled by Tree Advocates (the maps provided by TMA are unhelpfully low in resolution) here.

Tupuna Maunga Authority extends its area of influence over consents etc.
Pink areas show extent of land claimed by Tūpuna Maunga Authority under their doctrine of ‘Tūpuna Maunga Areas’.
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Tiwaiwaka

Ka ora te Whenua, ka ora te tangata.

“Tiwaiwaka is a collective of people committed to healing the mauri of the whenua.

We bring together our gifts and abilities, matauranga, skills and experience, and networks throughout Aotearoa, many groups and individuals, all committed to realising this vision, each in our own way, regardless of culture, religion, beliefs, history, etc.

It works by sharing this vision and empowering more and people to give it effect. We share a common voice that in time will embrace the whole of Aotearoa.

By following the Principles of Tiwaiwaka we have a way forwards that gives us hope for the future.”

Download, at no cost, Robert (Pa) McGowan’s short but inspiring guide to the way forward: Tiwaiwaka.

NB: If sound doesn’t work, try another browser (works on Chrome, Safari)

Benefits of exotic conifers

This post extracts choice bits from ‘The Ecological, Environmental and Economic Benefits of Exotic Conifers‘ by Owen Springford (BFSc) published in Landscape.org.nz which is gratefully acknowledged. Please visit Landscape.org.nz to read a great deal of useful information.

Note: Hieracium is commonly known as hawkweed. Minor typographic corrections applied.

“Conservation will only ever be second fiddle to the other priorities of the Government of the day. Consequently, the status quo, comprising the neglect of 80% of the conservation estate, will continue with large numbers of taxa nudging ever closer to extinction.”

“Wilding forests could hold the key to an unprecedented restoration of native flora and fauna in the Department of Conservation (DoC) estate and beyond. However, it comes with the requirement for major shift in thinking by the both Government and DoC. Firstly, the Government needs to ring-fence revenue earned from the conservation estate to the maintenance and improvement of the estate rather than all monies going to the consolidated fund as does now. Secondly, DoC will need to change the deeply ingrained ideology that it has in respect of the place of forests containing non-indigenous species.”

1.     WHY NATURALLY GENERATING EXOTIC FORESTS DEVELOP ON DEGRADED RANGELAND

“The critical agents that conspire against native forest succession and retention are; grazing animals, the animals that destroy the birds that disperse forest species, and exotic grasses. Exotic grasses are particularly antagonistic to native forest species for two reasons. They support grazing animals and the mycorrhizae (root fungi) associations of grasses appear to be highly effective at preventing native forest species to grow, …”

“Under a healthy native forest ecosystem, if exotic conifers are present, they have great difficulty continuing with succession. This is because they are not specifically adapted to the NZ environment. When they do persist then there is invariably some ecological agent involved for example high pig populations that till up the soil and allow these exotics to re-seed.”

“Many exotic conifers that are in NZ evolved to exploit the opportunity created by the retreat of the North American ice sheets before soils had formed and in the presence of grazing animals. In NZ, these exotic conifers have found a situation that closely resembles the environment they evolved in. A situation created by a century and a half of gross land mismanagement. These conifers then set about to undo this damage by firstly increasing soil carbon or organic matter in the soil. … the exotic conifers build a cradle for fertility and then fill that cradle with nutrients.”

“Walking through these areas, especially in spring, it is clear to see the halo of fertility that is developing around each tree with exotic grasses and clover growing. Native birds, particularly fantails, are quick to occupy young exotic wilding forests, generally followed by bellbirds and robins. Once the populations of these birds reach high levels, NZ falcons start to turn up. Native forest species then start to appear in the developing forests. The speed of this process depends on the location of seed sources and the populations of native birds.”

“In stark contrast to exotic grassland, native forest species are successful colonisers in exotic conifer forests, presumably because exotic forests resemble the ecosystems that those species evolved in. In the fullness of time, exotic forest will succumb to native forest succession subject to two conditions; the control of grazing and the control of the pests that predate native birds – an important point for the future management of these forests. While these self-generating exotic forests are a symptom of a severe problem, they provide the solution in that they restore the life-giving capacity of the land.”

2.     DO WILDING EXOTIC FORESTS CHANGE EXISTING ECOSYSTEMS?

“Compared to the near ecological desert that exists under degraded rangeland farming that has developed into a sea of Hieracium, wildings create microclimates with large volumes of living space for all manner of native flora and fauna, much as a coral reef provides diverse opportunities for all manner of creatures to live. A hectare of Hieracium with a canopy of say 5 cm provides a living space volume of 500 m3 per hectare while a 30-metre conifer stand provides a living space volume of 300,000 m3/ha. Native birds and bats need trees as a place to make defendable nests and the older the trees the better.”

3.     IMPACT ON GRAZING LAND

“Conifers are incapable of colonising healthy grass ecosystems. However, in the situations where overgrazing and burning have done so much damage to the land that it can no longer support grazing, this then provides the opportunity for self-generating exotic trees to develop.”

4.     DO WILDINGS LIMIT FUTURE LAND USE OPTIONS?

“Wildings develop on land where other possibilities no longer exist. Wilding forests themselves create a fantastic option and economic opportunity, specifically under the Emissions Trading Scheme. The average sequestration rate for Exotic Softwoods … is 12.8 tonnes CO2 equivalent per ha per year over 50 years. However, there have been measurements … that show wilding stands with sequestration rates more than 5 times that rate. … wilding forests provide the best hope for NZ to meet the Government’s currently stated goal of a net 5% reduction on 1990 emission levels by 2030.”

“NZ has one of the highest per capita emissions profiles in the world after the US, Canada and Australia (excluding the Arabian Gulf states which are in a league of their own). Wildings provide perhaps the last chance for NZ to salvage its “Clean Green” image which is now failing to pass the smell test.”

5.     LANDSCAPE MATTERS

“In their native state, the wilding conifers grace some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, the Rocky Mountains of North America. So the forests are not inherently ugly. Few tourist photos of Mt Cook are not framed by wilding forests. The argument then goes that these forests are not natural to NZ. However, these forests only develop in areas where the existing native vegetation has largely been destroyed so those landscapes can hardly be described as being “natural”. As a forester with 35 years experience, I’ve never seen an example of exotic conifers taking over a healthy native forest ecosystem. … The shortest book in NZ would be called “Native Biodiversity on a Dairy Farm”.

6.     FUTURE MANAGEMENT OF WILDING FORESTS

“DoC is flying in the face of Mother Nature who is desperately trying to reclothe herself after a century and half of abuse. Rather than fight Mother Nature, the strategy should be to work with her by encouraging wilding forest to develop and then promote the succession of native forest within these wilding forests. The wilding forest could fund these management operations through revenue from the ETS. The use of wilding forests could lead to the greatest native forest regeneration project since the Taupo eruption and revenues from these forests could be used to fund protection of the rest of the native forest estate of which over 80% is wallowing in a disgraceful state of near-total neglect.”

Tree protections register

A document sent by Auckland Council in response to a request for information on the register. Dated 24 May 2019 (sorry for delay in posting this).
Short version:
  • The Schedule of Notable Trees is not closed. It is part of the Auckland Unitary Plan.
  • Anyone is able to nominate a tree or trees for inclusion in Schedule 10 by filling out the nomination form available on the council’s website. This is then sent to the Heritage team’s database, where nominations are held until such time as a plan change is initiated to undertake a full review of the Schedule. As above, there is currently no timeframe to start that work as of yet. All those who nominate a tree/trees will be acknowledged via a letter from the Heritage team.
  • Removing or altering a tree or trees, which are listed in Schedule 10, requires a resource consent. It is not a ‘simple’ or ‘automatic’ procedure to remove a tree from the Schedule.
  • Trees over 4m in height and 400mm in girth, which are located in Open Space zone have the same ‘status’ in that their removal and more than minor trimming requires a consent. The same applies to trees in road reserves. There are also multiple other rules throughout the AUP relating to trees/bush in that a consent is required to remove these. For example, in Significant Ecological Areas (SEAs).
  • Removing or altering a tree or trees, which are listed in Schedule 10, requires a resource consent. It is not a ‘simple’ or ‘automatic’ procedure to remove a tree from the Schedule. A consent application must be made and this is assessed under the rules relating to Scheduled Trees (Chapter D13 – Notable Trees Overlay).
  • The central strategy which brings together the initiatives and plans in terms of Auckland’s trees is the Urban Forest Strategy.
  • ... council has the ability to protect trees on private land. The Schedule of Notable Trees, as explained in previous answers, is part of the AUP and forms one of a number of sets of rules in the Plan that protects trees across the region, both on public and private land.

(Our emphasis.)

Here is the full answer. Many useful links to relevant documents are in this document. If you feel any could usefully be shared on this site, please get in touch.

Māori-led group prepares to occupy Mt Richmond to save hundreds of exotic trees

Responding to the shocking news of grant of consent to destroy hundreds of trees on Mt Richmond / Ōtāhuhu. Link to the full release is here.

Some points from the text by Shirley Waru:

“A Māori-led Māngere-Ōtāhuhu community group is preparing to occupy Mt Richmond / Ōtāhuhu after learning that Auckland Council has recently issued a non-notified resource consent to allow Tūpuna Maunga Authority to fell hundreds of exotic trees there.

“The current resource consent is for felling 278 of the maunga’s 443 exotic trees – nearly two-thirds of the maunga’s total tree cover. … A 2018 Auckland Council survey showed this area was down to only 8% tree canopy cover – and that was before the Authority felled the olive grove here and chopped down 153 exotic trees on Māngere maunga. And it was also before the intensive housing developments that have since sprung up in the neighbourhood.

“In doing such harm to the environment, Tūpuna Maunga Authority and its supporters are harming those kaitiaki and undermining – not protecting – our culture. Tikanga (protocol) also requires engaging with communities in an honest and meaningful way, yet the Authority has publicly admitted it never talked with anybody about its specific plans to get rid of all the exotics.

22 September 2021

Report in Stuff news online is here.

Mana whenua and tangata whenua

The following are some extracts from the Wai 64 Waitangi Tribunal Report 2001 REKOHUA Report on Moriori and Ngati Mutunga Claims in the Chatham Islands in which the terms ‘mana whenua’ or ‘tangata whenua’ are discussed.

1.3.7 p.11
Statutory injunctions for authorities to consult with tangata whenua, being persons with mana whenua, or, so it is said, customary authority, have created needless headaches on Rekohu and have engendered an unnecessary bitterness. As used, the terms appear to us to be out of kilter with Moriori and Māori custom. Mana is inherent in persons, not land, and ‘mana whenua’ appears to be a modern thought that does violence to traditional ethics. It has prejudiced all on the islands and prejudices Māori generally. We recommend that the term ‘mana whenua’ be taken from the legislation.

2.6.1 p.25
We find that we must part company with the understanding of ‘tangata whenua’ and ‘mana whenua’ as used in the Reserves Act 1977, the Conservation Act 1987, and the Resource Management Act 1991. In section 2 of the latter, ‘mana whenua’ means ‘customary authority exercised by an iwi or hapu in an identified area’. ‘Tangata whenua’, in relation to a particular area, is defined as meaning ‘the iwi or hapu that holds mana whenua over that area’. We think that this confuses several things, not least by its association of‘ ‘tangata whenua’ with power. We have thought it best to leave aside the legal definitions and to look at the matter solely in customary terms.

As we see it, the core meaning of ‘tangata whenua’ relates to an association with the land akin to the umbilical connection between an unborn child and its mother. It comes from creation beliefs holding that Māori were born of Papatuanuku (Mother Earth) and is used to describe the first people of a place, as though they were born out of the land. However, it is also used to describe those who have become one with the land through occupation over generations. It is relevant to ask whether the newcomers placed the placenta of the newborn on the land, whether their ancestors have been regularly buried in particular sacred sites, and whether regular respect for those ancestors and sites is still maintained. These and similar questions define the degree of permanence or transience in cultural terms.

Accordingly, it is possible that some people can be more ‘tangata whenua’ than others, so that the term ‘tangata whenua tuturu ake’ or ‘the true tangata whenua’ might be used to distinguish, for example, Moriori from Ngati Mutunga of Rekohu. Moriori described the latter as ‘tangata whenua iho’, meaning ‘afterwards’. …

The status of tangata whenua is a fact that cannot be changed for as long as the people exist and maintain an emotional connection. In illustration, Ngati Mutunga claimed tangata whenua status in Taranaki even after 40 years of absence and even though they left after being defeated by Waikato. In similar vein, particular interests arising from aboriginality cannot be extinguished. An ancestral association with particular places is a fact that cannot be changed, even though possessory rights may be affected by adverse occupations.

… we cannot support the approach adopted in the Resource Management Act 1991, which defines tangata whenua by asking who has the customary authority in a place. If that question can be answered at all, the answer will surely exclude many who are properly tangata whenua as well. If it is the intention of the Act that some special consideration should be given to Māori who have ancestral associations with particular areas of land, then we think that it would be best if that were said. It might then be found that more than one group has an interest. If in any particular case it is intended that particular Māori communities should be heard, then it would be best to describe the type of community, be it traditional or modern. What must be guarded against is the assumption that in any particular area only one tribal group can be involved. Māori had no land boundaries like those of states, overlaps and pockets of holdings were usual, different groups had different interests in the same resource, and political authority was distributed amongst such local communities as existed from time to time. And what must be watched closely is the tendency to use Māori terms without an appreciation of the associated cultural ethic.

p.28
The term ‘mana whenua’ appears to have come from a nineteenth-century Māori endeavour to conceptualise Māori authority in terms of the English legal concepts of imperium and dominium. It links mana or authority with ownership of the whenua (soil). But the linking of mana with land does not fit comfortably with Māori concepts. Recent research tends to agree that the term ‘mana whenua’ itself does not appear in the early records about customary rights to land.

… the term ‘mana’ was personal and was used in regard to the influence or authority of chiefs. Other opinions … consider that mana whenua was a nineteenth-century invention. Crown counsel likewise challenged – we think correctly – its use to describe a general authority of a particular group over any area of land.

We are inclined to think that the term ‘mana whenua’ is an unhelpful nineteenth-century innovation that does violence to cultural integrity. However, subject to such arrangements as may have been settled by the people themselves, our main concern is with the use of the words ‘mana whenua’ to imply that only one group can speak for all in a given area when in fact there are several distinct communities of interest, or to assume that one group has a priority of interest in all topics for consideration. Some matters may be rightly within the purview of one group but not another.

13.2.2 p.257
The thrust of conservation and resource management law is that consultation is to be with ‘tangata whenua’. Literally, this means ‘the people of the land’; but in the statute it means the ‘iwi’ (the people) or ‘hapu’ (tribe) that holds ‘mana whenua’, that being said to mean ‘customary authority’. In essence, the Crown or local authority must consult the people with customary authority. …

The main problem is the statutory language. What sort of ‘customary authority’ does ‘mana whenua’ entail? Amongst Māori, there is a large dispute on that and, indeed, on whether the term has value at all. We think that in this case the infusion of Māori words has muddied the statutory intent. If it was meant to say that consultation should be had with runanga or other bodies generally accepted as representing the people traditionally associated with an area, then it would have been better had the legislation said that.

13.2.4
A major difficulty over the use of ‘mana whenua’ in the statutes is that it requires people to proclaim that they have mana, when in Māori ethic that is not done, except as a boastful challenge or in contemplation of war. More regularly, it is thought that those who find it necessary to proclaim that they have mana will almost certainly not have it.

For the reasons indicated above, we consider that the term ‘mana whenua’ should not be used in the statutes. It cuts across customary concepts and protocols. We add that the term appears to be relatively new, having been coined for the authority of Māori as against that of Governor Grey. It was also used in the context of pending war. There is nothing wrong in coining new words. However, it does not sit comfortably with customary concepts when it is used, as here, to describe relationships between Māori groups.

p.262
We especially bring to attention the fact that the word ‘mana’ was kept out of the Treaty of Waitangi. The drafter of the Māori text was fully acquainted with the term, but it was assiduously avoided and, with hindsight, rightly so. We think that the Treaty provided a good precedent that the Legislature should follow. ‘Rangatiratanga’ is now used to describe the authority of people in respect of people.

The association of mana with temporal authority and with whenua offends other concepts. For Māori, mana is primarily a spiritual or personal quality. As for temporal authority, it is seen to exist within the people, and not within the land …


Tribunal:
Chief Judge Eddie Durie (presiding), John Kneebone, Professor Gordon Orr, Makarini Temara (died in 1994 before completion of report).

The full report, along with other Waitangi Tribunal Reports, can be downloaded from this page. The Wai 64 document is here.

Extracts here published are provided pursuant to NZGOAL and CCA 4.0 licence.

The Danger to Motions Creek/Waiōrea

a “very significant stream”, an “understated gem”
Wendy Gray to Waitematā Local Board for their Western Springs Forest workshop

Mindful that

  1. Motions Creek/Waiōrea is a taonga to mana whenua and tribes with histories in Tamaki Makaurau that is home to important fauna and flora,
  2. Motions Creek/Waiōrea was left outside the perimeter of the Resource Consent area,
  3. Consultation with mana whenua took place in the absence of key information and senior players therefore reliance on their agreement is unsafe,
  4. The stakeholder responsible for the management and maintenance of Motions Creek/Waiōrea, Healthy Waters, has never been formally consulted,
  5. Council Community Facilities (CCF) have accepted that tree-felling and earthworks on Western Springs Forest will impact Motions Creek/Waiōrea as sediment control measures are planned,
  6. These control measures are based on a dry season scenario,
  7. Council Community Facilities (CCF) plans to start tree-felling operations on 6 April i.e. near the end of earthworks season, leading into Auckland’s wettest months,
  8. The proposed earthworks for the track and landing sites, will destroy a maturing Kauri and other protected maturing native trees which are over 4 metres in height and are therefore ‘protected’ trees,
  9. The houses of stakeholders on West View Road have not been surveyed as required,
  10. Ratepayers are already extremely upset and frustrated from their experiences of tree losses on Mangere Mountain, Ōhuiarangi and at Big Mac, Canal Road, etc. and therefore likely to react very emotionally to a significant tree-felling exercise following on so soon,
  11. The proposed earth stablisation is manifestly inadequate: no plants can be expected to provide significant ground stabilisation within 6 months’ growth over winter,
  12. The risks for an environmental disaster caused by the proposed tree-felling and earthworks is very considerable and irreversible,

    I ask the Board to
  1. Instruct Council Community Facilities (CCF) to delay commencement of works to the beginning of Auckland’s earthworks season i.e. 1 October,
  2. Use the time to survey stakeholder’s houses,
  3. Consult with Healthy Waters to construct measures to ensure there will be absolutely no risk to Motions Creek/Waiōrea as a result of tree-felling and earthworks commencing in October.

    Wendy Gray
Detailed supporting statements and evidence:
  1. The Western Springs Forest is the only functioning 98-year old mixed native and non-native forest it Auckland Central. It has the tallest trees in Auckland Central. The pines were planted in 1923 and is today a prominent landmark (Mike Wilcox 2012)
  2. At the bottom of the Forest is Motions Creek/Waiōrea. Considered by some ecologists who have studied it to be a very significant stream, an “understated gem”, which has never been properly surveyed.
  3. It is beyond doubt that the stream will be affected by Council Community Facilities’(CCF) project to harvest the pines from Western Springs Forest yet the Resource Consent (RC) application boundary was drawn along the north bank of the stream thereby excluding it from consideration in the Resource Consent process.
  4. This means that Council’s proposal was the only matter consulted on with mana whenua.
  5. The stakeholder responsible for the management and maintenance of Motions Creek/Waiōrea is Healthy Waters and as far as I am aware this stakeholder has never been formally consulted because the stream was outside the RC area. I believe that it is beyond doubt that Healthy Waters is a stakeholder who should have been consulted and involved in consideration of the significant potential risks of CCF’s project. Healthy Waters is not included in the stakeholder group which Council has met and is continuing to meet with. This is a major omission now that it has become clear that CCF is proceeding with this risky project outside Council’s earthworks season and without proper soil and erosion advice.
  6. Ridley Dunphy’s report on Soil and Erosion control recommendations and Universal Soil Loss Equation dated 26 February 2021 were prepared for a dry season scenario. We now know the proposal is to undertake this risky project during the wet season.
  7. Because the slope which the pines are on is directly above the stream rainfall will dislodge loose material that will flow directly into Motions Creek/Waiōrea.
  8. Over the last 8-10 years it is believed that sediment has been building up in Motions Creek/Waiōrea. This is already damaging for the biodiversity present in the stream.
  9. Motions Creek/Waiōrea has never been surveyed nor has the potential risks, and possible consequences of this project to this stream, and its biodiversity, ever been considered by CCF and those mana whenua tribes CCF and WLB have consulted.
  10. Motions Creek/Waiōrea is a precious taonga for mana whenua and the ancient tribes of Tāmaki Makaurau. It is a vital link for the at risk – declining taonga Longfin eel to travel from Western Springs lake to the ocean for its reproductive cycle and for its return to Western Springs Lake.
  11. Collecting together the information that we do have about the flora of Waiōrea; from “A survey of Western Springs” was undertaken by Mike Wilcox and Ben Goodwin published in the Auckland Botanical Society Journal December 2019“.

    Motions Creek flows from the Western Springs lake along a rock- walled channel and then through the Auckland Zoo and Jaggers Bush to the Waitemata Harbour off Meola Road.
    The rock walls have an interesting flora, especially ferns.
    Introduced ferns found here are Cyrtomium falcatum (Fig. 18), Cystopteris fragilis (Fig. 19), tuber ladder fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia) and Pteris cretica, together with African club-moss (Selaginella kraussiana).
    Native ferns present are Asplenium oblongifolium, Austroblechnum lanceolatum, Diplazium australe, Doodia mollis, Histiopteris incisa and Hypolepis dicksonioides (Fig. 20).
    Other plants on the creek banks are mistflower (Ageratina riparia), ivy-leaved toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis), Mexican daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus), galinsoga (Galinsoga quadriradiata), tree daisy (Dahlia excelsa) – a large clump, Geranium gardneri, G. homeanum, G. purpureum, creeping mallow (Modiola caroliniana), grey sedge (Carex divulsa), Juncus usitatus, Natal lily (Crinum moorei), Setaria palmifolia, Ehrharta erecta, Cestrum nocturnum, Polygonum capitatum, hemlock (Conium maculatum), Artemisia verlotiorum, tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum) and Japanese walnut.
    Aquatic plants recorded from the edge of the stream or submerged are Glossostigma elatinoides, Isolepis inundata, Myriophyllum propinquum, and the moss Leptodictyon riparium
    The principal aquatic mosses in Western Springs and Motions Creek are (nationally endangered) Fissidens berteroi, F. leptocladus, F. ridiulus and Leptodictyon riparium (Fig 29)
  1. The Fauna that was seen in the Waiōrea is known to include: common bully, at risk – declining torrentfish (which only occur in Waiōrea and Oakley Creek), at risk –declining longfin eel, at risk -declining Inanga galaxiae , short fin eels, smelt.
  2. This list is not exhaustive but it gives you a flavour of why this stream is considered to be a “very significant stream”, an “understated gem”.
  3. The consultation that took place with mana whenua throughout the RC process and, prior to WLB’s decision taken on 3 November 20, at the hastily called meeting on 29 October 2020, did not include any information about Waiōrea. This was a significant omission.
  4. The recent Ridley Dunphy report for soil and erosion control fails to address the issue of stability of the slope, when will the slope be stable? This is important because the last Category 2 storm in Auckland happened in April 2018. To start this project in April is extremely risky for Waiōrea when the controls rely entirely on human judgment of Treescape who are arborists not soil and erosion control specialists.
  5. I take issue with Ridley Dunphy’s claims that the soil and erosion controls can be removed 6 to 12 months “following completion of the harvesting operation”. Here is my submission from the RC application:
    5.22 There is a “window of vulnerability” which Pinus radiata forest scientists have studied. As set out in The Listener Article May 12-18 2018, Attachment 9 page 21, The Pine Problem at page 24, “On clear-felled slopes, the roots of Pinus radiata hold the soil for the first year after harvest, but then quickly rot. Peter Weir, a hydrologist and slope-stability specialist who is president of the Forest Owners Association, says “Between year two and year six [harvested slopes} are highly vulnerable”. 
    Foresters typically replant a new crop of radiata seedlings within a year of harvest, but Weir says these “do nothing” to hold the soil for the first couple of years. By year three to four, their roots are getting established, and by year five to six, they are “doing a pretty good job”.
    But, clear-felling has a second effect on the soil. Weir says about a third of rainfall is intercepted by the canopy of mature forest and evaporates rather rather than reaching the ground. But clear-felling removes that protection: the soil is wetter and more prone to slips in heavy rain.
    “So harvesting triggers a process that, through time, makes the slope more vulnerable if a severe storm comes along.”
    On flatter land, the risks are minimal. But…. on steep land…., once cleared by harvest, is liable to shed mud and debris flows during storms.”
  6. I also spoke to Peter Weir who told me that if natives are planted it takes longer, up to 10 years plus for the slope to stabilise.
  7. This has huge risk implications for Waiōrea and clearly CCF has failed to do all it can to ensure that the risks of this project are known and considered by all stakeholders.
  8. Having been told throughout the RC process that the hillside will be replanted immediately after the works. There is a suggestion in the Ridley Dunphy report at p.22? that this “may” happen. Not that it “will” happen.
  9. This CCF project is unnecessarily invasive demonstrating a problem with ecological literacy of CCF.
  10. I ask that the WLB consider delaying this project until AC’s dry season next year. The risk to Waiōrea has not been assessed, nor considered with mana whenua, and WLB have not been given the necessary information for them to be able to assess the risks of undertaking this project in AC’s wet season.
  11. On 3 November 2020 2 members of the WLB gave the reasons for their decision was because, “mana whenua supported CCF’s project”, I submit it would be unsafe for WLB to allow CCF to proceed with this harvesting project this wet season and that it should be delayed for 7 months until the dry season after 1 October 2021.
  12. WLB can in the meantime make sure that mana whenua are properly consulted on the possible risks to Waiōrea, the taonga at risk – declining longfin eel and other native species present in this taonga waterway.

Western Springs Forest documents

Documents 30 March 2021

One week before works are due to start, Council sends out the ‘approved’ documents.

3421c AK Western Springs Bat Survey_22-3-21

LUC60321424 C9 Eclogical Management Plan – Approved

LUC60321424 C13 Construction Management Plan – Approved

LUC60321424 C16 Land Management Plan – Approved

LUC60321424 C17 Construction Noise and Vibration Management Plan – Approved

LUC60321424 C18A Construction Traffic Management Plan – Approved

LUC60321424 C26 Lizard Management Plan – Approved

LUC60321424 C38 Specification of Works – Approved

LUC60321424 C38A Geotech Report – Approved

LUC60321424 Erosion and Sediment Control Plan – Approved

LUC60321424 Overall Site Plan Rev D – Approved

LUC60321424 Treescape Methodology 19.03.21 – Approved

Documents March 2021

Ecological Management Plan for the Proposed Removal of Pines at Western Springs Park

Lizard Management Plan or Pine Removal at Western Springs Park

Overall Site Plan 21159-L101-C

Updated Geotechnical Investigation Report

Western Springs – Treescape Methodology Final

Western Springs Pine Clearance – Erosion and Sediment control Plan

Consent Order ENV-2019-AKL-000104 Society for the Protection of Western Springs Forest Inc 2736092 & Gael Baldock v Auckland Council

Statement of Attributes – TreeScape

WTM_20200317_ATT_9819_DOCSforMEETING (fire service)

WTM_20201103_MIN_10361_EXTRA (open minutes Waitematā Local Board meeting 3 November 2020)


Documents relating Western Springs Forest that have been recently released in response to LGOIMA requests.

Click on the title to download. You can set your browser to open the file in a window if you don’t wish to download.

List of documents to provide with the brief

Applications completed July2019-June2020

Memorandum 30Oct2020 – extra documentation (002)

Rien Visser 31 October 2020 Email

WESTERN_SPRINGS_PINES_COST_2020_10_20_V2


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The Conversation in Big Mac

Caleb’s recording of night of 11 February 2021

The following is an audio track from a video recording that Caleb Azor made of a conversation in the middle of the night while he occupied Big Mac. The loudness has been RMS equalised so that hardly audible speech is easier to hear.

The conversation lasts over 13 minutes. In the section up to about 6 minutes you can hear Ockham personnel below his position trying to keep Caleb awake. Then he is startled by a call from someone who has climbed up to his position (leading to more than 6 secs of fumbling). Notice a chainsaw starting up at 9:41sec. You might like to pay really close attention from about 11 min.

Caleb is a model of politeness, patience, caution and quiet passion and speaks with remarkable clarity and calm. The recording breaks off because he decides he needs to make a call to get help.

Conversation in Big Mac 11 Feb 2021

The audio file was extracted from the video as that showed mostly black and ghostly figures. If you wish to see the original video with original sound, please check this link to YouTube.

Documents re Big Mac

These are documents delivered in response to requests for information that were dealt with under LGOIMA 1987 and are therefore presumed to be freely available to the public.

Click on the title to download. You can set your browser to open the file in a window if you don’t wish to download.

The following is a highly revealing document written by senior executives to Whau Local Board: Memo to Whau Local Board Chairperson

Note also the letter from Mark Todd, Managing Director of Ockham Residential, also below.


Documents relating to the consent decision

LGOIMA response 10 Feb 2021

Consent Decision with Conditions

Letter from Mark Todd_attachment withheld

Report from GreensceneNZ

Memo from GreensceneNZ

Email from GreensceneNZ_Redacted

Letter from the Tree Council_Redacted

Email from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei_Redacted

Record-of-decision-for-removal-of-Notable-macrocarpa-tree-final_23_dec20-004_Redacted-Signed

Arboricultural report Appendix K

LUC60361479 Notification Decision

Brush 0ffs from Council and request for reasons

Email re LGOIMA 10 Feb 2021

Response from Mayor to 1st letter 17 Feb 21

WG email requesting reasons for failure to produce all docs 10 Feb 21

Related policy documents

Council’s Tree Owner Approval Guide

Auckland Council Urban Ngahere (Forest) Strategy

Combined Chief Executive Delegation Register


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