Statement on the Titirangi kauri tree

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MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Statement on the Titirangi kauri tree

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has said she is concerned that a mature kauri tree is under threat.

The owner of a property on Paturoa Road has been granted permission to cut down the tree in order to build. The tree is on private land and the Auckland Council in this case, has the responsibility for deciding what activities can occur on the property.

Ms Barry says she is surprised by the Council’s decision not to notify the public of the process to remove a 200-year-old kauri.

“I have urged the Council to re-examine the processes which led to its decision not to notify the public of the outcome for this tree,” she says.

“There has been debate around the age of the tree. It is very difficult to assess accurately the age of a kauri just by looking at it,” Ms Barry says.

“In this case, no core sampling has been done. I am aware of claims that the kauri is up to 500 years old, but these are not proven. My own advice from an expert is that the tree is in fact closer to 100-200 years old.”

“As the Minister of Conservation I do not support the felling of any mature kauri trees, including the one currently under threat in Titirangi,” says Ms Barry.

The Department of Conservation has no statutory role in this Auckland Council decision. However, Ms Barry says the Chief Executive of the Department of Conservation, Lou Sanson, has now contacted Auckland Council to see if there are any solutions to save the tree.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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