Trees have a unique place in our environment. Without them, human life as we know it would not exist. Trees conserve water, make our air breathable, absorb air pollution, support our slopes and form the hub of enormous underground micro-environments that strengthen soil and foster insect life.

Latest News

New Tree App Launched

New Tree App Launched

The Tree Council launched its new mobile phone App at its AGM on 12 October 2017. The Agile Cloud App has been designed by Steven MacLeod and enables the public to record trees and tree loss. To download the App for your smartphone visit the Google Play Store (it is only currently available for Android… More

Open Letter re Removal of Scheduled Pecan Trees at 121 Avondale Road

Open Letter re Removal of Scheduled Pecan Trees at 121 Avondale Road

To: His Worship the Mayor Phil Goff, CEO Stephen Town cc: Chris Darby, Chair Planning Committee Penny Hulse, Chair Community and Environment Committee Ross Clow, Whau Ward Councillor Tracy Mulholland, Chair Whau Local Board Media Sunday 10 September 2017   Removal of Scheduled Pecan Trees at 121 Avondale Road The Tree Council and local residents… More

Graham’s Bush Appeal Resolved

Graham’s Bush Appeal Resolved

In a small gully in South Auckland is a botanical gem, a real taonga, a fragment of the lowland podocarp-broadleaf forest that once covered the Manukau lowlands. This fragment is called Graham’s Bush and has been owned and cared for by the late Graham Cheesman and his family for the last 17 years.

Thanks to Graham’s diligent stewardship the bush is weed and pest free. It has King Ferns, mature Taraire, Kaihikatea, Puriri and Kauri. Some of these trees are at least 400 years old. The really special thing about Graham’s Bush is that it contains all the ecological stages up to maturity. It is not a regenerating bush, it is mature bush. This is extremely rare and there is only 2% of the podocarp-broadleaf forest habitat remaining, so it is a regionally and nationally threatened habitat.

The ecological integrity of Graham’s Bush was threatened by Auckland Transport’s proposed Redoubt Road – Mill Road Upgrade and The Tree Council appealed the decision to approve the Notice of Requirement for the road which would see a new 4 lane highway built right through it. The Tree Council was joined in the appeal by a number of s274 parties which included Forest and Bird and the Redoubt Ridge Environment Group.

After mediation with Auckland Transport, The Tree Council has secured a considerable extension to the proposed bridge crossing the gully from 28 to 40m span. This means that the abutments supporting the road bed will now be located at the edges of the gully rather than within it and only a very small number of mature trees will be directly affected.

In addition, significant sized areas surrounding Graham’s Bush on adjacent properties will now be subject to weed and pest control and enrichment planting to enhance the area of bush cover. These will be protected in perpetuity and an adjacent gully on a neighbour’s land will also be zoned a Significant Ecological Area under the first plan change of the new Unitary Plan.

The additional cost to the project of the improvements agreed by the parties is in excess of $4.5 million.

The Tree Council’s Chair Sean Freeman is pleased at the outcome. “While we weren’t able to negotiate moving the road completely out of the bush we believe that the improvements we have secured will ensure that the integrity of this important ecological fragment and its wildlife will be maintained.”

“The Tree Council would like to thank all those who donated money to support our case, our fellow appeal parties, the Cheesman family and Auckland Transport for being willing to negotiate a much better ecological outcome for Graham’s Bush”.

Graham’s Bush provides part of an important link for birds moving between the Gulf Islands, the Hunua Ranges and the Waitakere Ranges. It is located close to other important bush fragments such as Murphy’s Bush and Olive Davies Reserve and provides a vital habitat for birds and fauna.

ENDS

Comment:

Sean Freeman, Chair The Tree Council Ph 021 0837 1202

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