Birch trees to get the cut

Three silver birches will be cut down following the first meeting of the council’s new tree management sub-committee – but only if the people who dislike the trees pay for it.

At the first meeting of Tauranga City Council’s new tree dedicated subcommittee yesterday members agreed unanimously to cut down all the trees put before it.


Silver birch trees on Stephens Place and Freyberg Street will be felled.

Residents on Freyberg Street in Otumoetai and in Stephens Place in Hairini are advocating for the removal of silver birches on the street on the basis they leave a mess and cause health problems.

A resident living 73 metres away from No. 83 Freyberg Street is requesting the removal of a healthy silver birch from outside that property due to debris.

A total of 23 people signed the petition seeking the removal of the silver birch tree in Freyberg Street. Eight Freyberg Street residents want the tree kept.

A Stephens Place resident is also requesting to council fell two silver birch trees as they cause health concerns and discomfort due to a pre-existing medical condition.

A total of 10 people signed the petition to remove the Stephens Place trees with nine in favour of removing them.

Councillors voted 4-1 in favour of removing the trees in both cases but stated the residents would have to pay for it.

Councillor Terry Molloy voted against both the petitions brought before the sub-committee.

He says the trees are healthy and none of them breach the city’s Tree Management and Vegetation Policy, and the policy has to be supported.

“I’m a firm believer that’s why we have a policy in the first place,” says Terry.

Murray Guy supported the tree fellers, saying the policy isn’t perfect and there are times when the council has to step in.

Until now tree issues that could not be resolved by city arborists in accordance with the Tree Management and Vegetation Policy had to go before the council Strategy and Policy Committee. The sub-committee was formed due to ongoing tree issues that haven’t subsided as was hoped when the tree and vegetation policy was adopted in February 2012.

Murray Guy says health issues complained of by one of the residents was reason enough to chop the tree.

“If you don’t think the policy covers the removal of these trees then I don’t know what you are doing here,” says Murray.

Terry also opposed the felling of two silver birches in Stephens Place, Hairni.

If the sub-committee was simply going to approve trees’ destruction on the strength of people finding reasons to have them removed, then there is no reason for the existence of the sub-committee, says Terry.

“My big concern here is that if we are going to remove a tree by popular acclamation, we don’t need a policy, and that appears to be where we are going and I have some real concerns about that,” says Terry.

 “I have some sympathy with Terry Molloy’s concerns on the matter,” says chairman Tony Christiansen.

“The two trees are perfectly fine, there’s no reason in the policy to take them out.”




6 Comments

HEALTH RULES

Posted on 09-02-2013 10:54 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Yes GeeReally, the game is set already, so now an easy one for all trees to be chopped. There is not a tree standing that does not contribute to hay-fever and so on. Scotched Earth looks now to be the destiny everywhere. But it is nice to see that the Majority rules for residents, have to respect that.

Advice to any people who don't want a tree

Posted on 08-02-2013 14:59 | By Gee Really

Say you’re near the beach and a beautiful pohutukawa blocks your view. Just say that it is affecting your health and the council tree chopping committee will have to agree to its demise. Same rules for everyone, after all. Trees are what distinguish a mature and beautiful city from the rest. Good on Cr Molloy for having the fortitude to stick to the policy.

So why

Posted on 08-02-2013 14:22 | By Sambo

form the committee then???, and Councillor Christianson, you did not like the weeds in the pond at the "Lakes" where you float your toy boat, so why cannot these residents who are being annoyed by a tree, chop it down??

Murray Guy and his precious policy

Posted on 08-02-2013 12:53 | By Religuloso

Cr Guy perhaps has a short memory? Sunlive 30 July 2011 about the Jazz Festival funding. There Cr Guy talks about a selective application of policies, and elected members trying to circumvent the rules. “One of the reasons I put myself forward in 2001 was over concerns regarding the application of integrity to council decisions,” says Murray. But now he seems to say (the tree) policy isn’t perfect. To be consistent and show integrity, shouldn’t the policy be changed Cr Guy? Or selectively doesn’t the process matter in this case?

Health problems my arse.

Posted on 08-02-2013 12:22 | By the kurgan

how can a beautiful oxygen and shade giving tree affect your health? more like the horrible air conditioned environment inside has more to do with health issue. get out in the fresh air, sit under or hug the tree and you will feel a lot better than being cooped up inside on the toxic gas emitting PVC coated couch in front of the EMF (electro magnetic field) emitting TV nibbling toxic GMO laced junk snacks and sniffling from the side effects of the last toxic recommended flu vaccine. No wonder there are so many whinging cry-babies around with weak immune systems.

Plus replace ...

Posted on 08-02-2013 12:02 | By Murray.Guy

Councillors voted 4-1 in favour of removing the trees in both cases but stated the residents would have to pay for it ... PLUS pay for a replacement tree. Failure to pay would result in the trees remaining.

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