Whau Local Board has reiterated its commitment to improving access to green spaces following the news that Tree Canopy cover in Whau has reduced by two per cent since 2018.
The Whau Urban Ngahere Analysis Report (item 15) shows that tree canopy coverage in Whau is at 17 per cent, with only 12 per cent of local roads in the area with cover. The goal of the regional Te Rautaki Ngahere ā-Tāone o Tāmaki Makaurau (strategy) is for 30 per cent coverage, and an action plan is being developed to direct tree planting and increase canopy cover
Assessing the current state of cover and providing recommendations for future actions is stage one of a three-stage approach to increase canopy cover in the area. The second stage will begin actions to increase cover and the third will look at ways to protect trees, including on private land.
Whau Local Board Chair, Kay Thomas, says increasing canopy cover in Whau is a challenge.
“We’ve said loud and clear in our planning documents, our Local Board Plan, and in our responses to the increased urbanisation of Whau, that we need to protect our green spaces, and that includes increasing our tree canopy cover.
“From the benefits of shade through to the positive environmental impacts of higher canopy cover, we know that more trees in Whau will bring positive outcomes.
“While a 17 per cent coverage is above the minimum 15 per cent, our canopy coverage has fallen by two per cent since 2018, so it’s clear there is a lot of work to do.
“Planting more trees is both logistically and financially challenging, but the board views increasing our canopy cover as a priority going forward.
“So we are pleased that the next step in this process is for recommendations and actions to increase cover and then, importantly, working to get protection for our trees, especially on private land.
“We will also work hard with other council entities, such as Auckland Transport, to improve cover on our road network and remain committed to bringing our numbers up in the future.”