April 05, 2019
Council inaction sounds death knell for Tītīrangi kauri
The Environment Court has refused to protect a kauri tree in Tītīrangi which is under threat from developers.
Tītīrangi residents Andrew Maehl and Winnie Charlesworth applied to the court last year for the centuries-old kauri, which has been named Awhiawhi by local iwi, to be protected for cultural, scientific and ecological reasons.
Scientist Nick Waipara says there was particular interest in the tree because of the way it healed after matauranga Māori remedies were applied after it was ringbarked tree years ago.
That is of significant interest and importance as scientists and iwi look for ways to counter kauri dieback disease.
The court said while its ruling would be extremely disappointing to many citizens, it was bound by a 2013 amendment to the Resource Management Act which removed the ability for a council to have general blanket protection of trees within urban areas.
The tree had been covered by a significant ecological area overlay in the District Plan, but this was lifted in 2015 at the request of owner John Lenihan.
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