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Source: Green Party

The Green Party is calling on Auckland Council to do more to protect urban trees and housing developer Aedifice Property Group to restore and replant the native forest it cleared, and protect all the remaining trees on Ngahere Road in Pukekohe after a significant number of native trees were cut down.

“Our towns and cities can be places where people and nature thrive, with affordable homes alongside vibrant green spaces. We must build more homes while also protecting trees and native forest remnants in our communities,” said Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“Visiting the site it was absolutely heart breaking to see the impact of felling these beautiful rakau. From their size and height, the trees appear decades old and were a distinctive feature of the site and the local landscape.

“Thanks to the Greens and the work of community groups, councils’ ability to protect significant trees has finally been restored in law. It’s deeply disappointing to see unnecessary felling continue and councils struggling to play catch-up to protect trees. New national direction in the National Planning Framework can’t come soon enough.

“The benefits of trees in communities are significant. Mature trees reduce noise, including vehicle noise, improve mental health and physical wellbeing, and provide habitats for plants and wildlife.”

“Urban trees soak up rain and reduce and slow stormwater run-off to streets and streams, they help prevent slips and soil erosion, sequester carbon, and provide welcome shade on the increasing number of hot days.”

“The Green Party’s plan for Climate Safe Communities includes making sure councils have better tools to protect mature trees while providing new housing – to prevent our urban forests being further destroyed.”

“By building better designed communities we can create new homes where people want to live and protect and enhance urban nature – for liveable, climate resilient cities,” says Eugenie Sage.