According to Auckland Council’s Urban Ngahere Programme's 2013 dataset analysis, Puketāpapa has approximately 20.4 per cent urban forest cover. This is relatively high compared to other urban local boards within the Auckland metropolitan area.
The forest cover includes 10.6 per cent of road reserves, 44.4 per cent of public parks, and 16.8 per cent of private land. Approximately one half of the urban forest cover has some form of statutory protection, and there are 130 Notable Trees or groups of trees identified locally.
While the relatively high level of urban cover is something to celebrate, there are some obvious gaps in tree cover throughout the local board area.
What more can be done?
The Urban Ngahere (Forest) programme is an Auckland Council strategy addressing concerns around tree cover changes across the region. The programme has three phases: ‘Knowing’, ‘Growing’ and ‘Protecting’.
The programme report identifies further opportunities for urban forest increases, particularly in relation to street trees and sports parks, and suburb areas with lower tree cover at present. Public parks also represent the most strategic locations to establish further urban forest. This offers the best opportunities for long-term sustainable management, due to the lower chance of conflict with future housing intensification and infrastructure upgrades.
Some immediate examples of actions from a comprehensive list in the report that will likely improve tree coverage locally include planting more trees in public parks such as Walmsley Park and Keith Hay Park, tree planting around the naturalised Te Auaunga/Oakley Creek, planting programmes in commercial and industrial areas of Mt Roskill, and identifying and protecting unprotected large trees.