Chainsaws Halted At Logging Of Over 100 Year-old Kahikatea Stand At Ardmore

Published: Sat 30 Oct 2021 02:05 PM
Kaitiaki from tree protection group Mana Rākau, after interrupting the logging of a stand of kahikatea at Ardmore yesterday afternoon, are calling out the Government for its failure to return general tree protection.
Arborist and tree climber Zane Wedding - who spent weeks occupying a pūriri tree at Canal Road in Avondale this year - entered the stand of around 60 remaining native trees to stop chainsaws yesterday afternoon.
“I got a phone call from someone passing by and came out - it’s unbelievable that in a climate and biodiversity emergency we are still cutting down old-growth native forest,” says Wedding.
Scientists estimate that more than 98 percent of the pre-European kahikatea forest has been lost nationwide. The stand appears to be between 100 and 150 years old and includes trees over 30 meters tall, including lowland rimu. Mana Rākau says that Prime Minister Ardern is “culpable” for failing to protect trees in her four years as leader.
“These fragments of kahikatea are invaluable to us and should be protected but four years into the Ardern government there is still no general tree protection.”
It’s understood this stand will be cut down to build an airplane hangar. Wedding says the contradiction of New Zealand’s presence at the climate change conference in Glasgow and inaction on tree protection is “striking”.
“There is no way you can save the climate without protecting mature trees and native biodiversity,” says Wedding.
“It is totally out of step with climate action for our government to allow wholesale clearing of mature, native trees to build hangars for polluting airplanes.”
Tāmaki Makaurau has lost over a third of its urban ngahere since the removal of general tree protection by the Key Government in 2012.
“We call on Jacinda Ardern to bring back general tree protection now. This kahikatea felling has to be the final straw. The Prime Minister must ensure that the large-scale loss of our mature and native trees is stopped.”

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