Waitematā Local Board has voted to delay the implementation of a resource consent to remove a stand of pine trees at Western Springs Lakeside Park.
The local board has asked for council staff to further explore alternative methods of managing tree removal including sectional tree felling.
The board’s decision follows the granting of a publicly notified resource consent that was required to enable the removal of the trees. The proposed removal of the pines in March/April 2020 would have enabled progression of the Western Springs Native Bush Restoration project.
The stand of approximately 200 remaining pine trees, aged around 100 years old, is in poor health and 23 of the trees are dead. Auckland Council has monitored the pines since 2005, documenting the degeneration of the stand which originally comprised around 700 trees.
Waitematā Local Board chair Richard Northey says while the board were agreed on the vision of a healthy, thriving native forest and a park area safe for all users, some members felt more information was needed before they could be certain on a decision to remove the pines.
“We hope to make a timely decision so that the native forest can begin to grow and the area can be reopened for all to enjoy,” he said.
The area of the park where the pine trees are located has been closed since 2018 for safety reasons. The area will remain closed while the local board considers the future of the tree stand and until the area is considered safe for the public to access.