October 21, 2015
Climate change threat to Maungakiekie trees
Activist Mike Smith says the trees that will be planted on Maungakiekie-One Tree Hill next year will be safe from him – but not from the activities of the rest of humanity.
The grove of totara and pohutukawa will be planted in the hope that eventually one will dominate and replace the lone pine Mr Smith attacked with a chainsaw in 1999.
The climate change campaigner says leading scientists have advised him New Zealand’s native species won’t be able to adapt to a planet that is several degrees warmer.
"All our native species are eventually going to pass away this century and I know that's hard to get your head around but that is the accepted wisdom coming out of the science community so from a purely scientific point of view those trees don't have much of a show being up there at the top of Maungakiekie, so that is a really sad state of affairs," Mr Smith says.
He says none of the concerns he was trying to raise in 1999 about the status of Maori and the Treaty of Waitangi have been properly addressed, and many economic and social indicators have gone backwards.
Meanwhile, New Zealand First MP Winston Peters says Mike Smith’s failure to fell the pine tree in 1999 was a disgrace to Maoridom.
"Here’s the real issue. If Mike wanted to help the Maori people, how come he couldn't operate a chain saw properly? This is not a difficult thing to handle but if you are going to behave like that at least learn how to handle the equipment, because I could tell you there are a whole lot of Maori with no education and far inferior background to Mr Smith who could do the job if they were going to do it," he says.
The 125-year-old tree was eventually cut down the following year when Auckland City Council arborists judged it too sick to survive.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH MIKE SMITH CLICK ON THE LINK
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