December 10, 2023

Auckland maunga tree battle: Group against tree removal claims slip damage during flooding was due to lack of trees

Watch: Nick Turoa and Anna Radford share their sides of the debate.

Some Mount Albert residents are blaming slips during the Auckland flooding on a lack of trees stabilising the land on parts of the maunga.

It’s adding fuel to a long-running debate surrounding whether 345 exotic trees should be removed or stay.

But those in favour of removal said trees on the mountain posed a threat to people’s lives during the flooding as multiple fell down the mountain.

In October 2019, the Tūpuna Maunga Authority advised that 345 healthy, mature exotic trees would be removed from Owairaka-Mt Albert beginning mid November – which is almost half the mountain’s trees.

To replace the trees, the authority plans to plant 13,000 native shrubs, grasses and tree saplings.

Concerned locals created the group Honour the Maunga which aims to keep the exotic trees while slowly planting native trees alongside it.

However, the Tūpuna Maunga Authority said there is long-term benefits to the restoration programme with a likelihood of better quality habitat for native flora and fauna with a wider variety of year-round food for birds.

Honour the Maunga’s spokesperson Anna Radford and Kaiwhakahaere Te Waka Tai-ranga-whenua at Auckland Council Nick Turoa joined AM on Wednesday to share their sides of the debate.

Watch the video above.

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