February 17, 2015
Maori upset at tree destruction
Maori are rejecting claims by Auckland Transport they were consulted about the destruction of historic pohutukawa trees at Western Springs.
The council owned organisation wants to bowl the trees, which were planted around Arbor Day in 1934 as part of a Depression-era project to enhance greenspace, so it can create an extra access lane to the motorway.
AUT Maori Development lecturer Ella Henry says Auckland Transport’s claim that no concern was raised by mana whenua, ignores the fact there has not been appropriate and meaningful consultation with Mana Whenua groups or with Mataa Waka, such as herself who are part of the Auckland community and passionate about protecting indigenous flora and fauna in the region.
Ngati Whatua o Orakei deputy chair Ngarimu Blair says the hapu has not been engaged on the proposed tree removal.
The area is already hostile to families who visit MOTAT, Pasifika and Western Springs.
He says the design needs to be re-thought to retain the trees and bring back a sense of calm and safety for those not in cars.
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