While parts of central, west and north Auckland are known for their lush leafy suburbs, the streets around south Auckland are largely barren of trees in comparison.
But that could all change according to Manukau Ward Councillor Alf Filipaina.
The Environment and Community Committee, of which Cr Filipaina is deputy chair, has approved a final strategy to begin planning on how to enhance Auckland’s urban ngahere (forest) and green infrastructure by increasing the tree canopy cover around the city.
The areas with least coverage are the Māngere-Ōtāthuhu and Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board areas, which have 8 per cent and 9.1 per cent respectively. In comparison, the Kaipātiki Local Board area on Auckland’s North Shore has canopy coverage of 30 per cent.
Cr Filipaina says while the Manukau Ward has the worst canopy coverage, there are plenty of reasons to improve it.
“South Auckland shouldn’t be ‘leaf’t behind on this,” he laughs, pun intended.
“The benefits of having more trees are well-documented. These include improved air and water quality, enhanced storm water management, improved health and well-being of residents and reduced energy costs.”
The main goal will be to increase the canopy coverage across Auckland to 30 per cent.
Cr Filipaina says that to be a truly ‘world-class’ city, embracing a greener vision must be part of that future.
“A flourishing urban forest will bring so many positives to our city and will also reinforce our reputation as a place people want to come to.”