Halfway there: tree canopy coverage in Henderson-Massey at 15 per cent

Last Updated : 27 Oct 2021
Tree canopy cover
Trees outside the Waitākere Central Library in Henderson providing shade.

Henderson-Massey is halfway toward achieving its tree canopy cover target, having increased by two per cent in the past three years, but a concerted effort is required to continue the upward momentum, according to a new report.

Canopy cover in the area sits at 15 per cent, half the 30 per cent target set by the regional Te Rautaki Ngahere ā-Tāone o Tāmaki Makaurau (strategy) and an action plan is being developed to direct tree planting and increase canopy cover which will be finalised in 2022.

It’s the first of a three-stage approach to canopy cover in the area, assessing the current state of cover and provide recommendations for future actions.

The second stage will begin actions to increase cover and the third will look at ways to protect trees, including on private land.

Increasing canopy cover

Henderson-Massey Local Board chair, Vanessa Neeson says that the board is committed to increasing tree canopy cover.

“There are so many benefits to having higher levels of canopy cover,” she says. “From benefits to the climate, such as helping to reduce greenhouse gases, through to helping counter increased temperatures, reducing stormwater runoff and creating more habitat for native species, increased canopy cover plays a big role in caring for the environment."

“It’s especially important in summer months in our parks and playgrounds, and trees are fabulous for the climate as well.

“The report shows that while there has been an increase in cover since 2018, the majority of that has been in public parks and road reserves, and there are numerous other areas that we can work toward increasing cover in, such as road corridors, industrial and commercial areas.

“Increasing the canopy cover won’t be straightforward or without cost, but we know that there is great value in doing so.

“Doing all we can to improve the cover in the Henderson-Massey area is both strategically and environmentally important, and we look forward to the next stage of this process and the actions we can put in place to continue to increase the cover in our area.”

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