The Western Springs Monterey Pine Forest is an area of Heritage significance

Mike Wilcox in his book Auckland's Remarkable Urban Forest states in page 179... "A block of Monterey pine was planted in 1923 on the slopes between the zoo and what is now Western Springs Stadium, and is still there today. It is now a prominent landmark: approaching 50m high, it is the tallest stand of trees in Auckland."

It was apparent that significant tree felling works had been being carried out by Treescape also damaging the native forest that is growing under the Monterey pines.

Treescape was asked to produce its paper work which it failed to do.

The council arborist confirmed that no resource consent had been obtained when it should have been and that he was in the process of putting together a public consultation plan about the Waitemata Local Board (WLB) plans for Western Springs Monterey Pine Forest. A plan that was passed by WLB in 2015 without properly informing residents.

Further information emerged at a meeting with the council arborist about plans to build a track into the forest to take down all the Monterey pine trees.

The arborist did not share this information with the meeting; instead we learnt about this only from a resident who joined the meeting.

Waitemata Local Board wishes to cut down the Western Springs Monterey pines.

They claim many things about these Monterey pines: they are unsafe; they are dying; they only live 80-90 years; those that have been cut down by council have been dead, dangerous and dying; of the 504 original pines 304 have died or failed to date.

Where do they get this information and these figures? Are they accurate? Residents would like to know.

The Californians tell us, and they should know, that these trees may live up to 150 years.

Residents living locally to this urban forest say it is an area of ecological significance and that the sign saying this, which used to be located on the track, has been taken away. No proper ecological study of the biodiversity living in this living forest has been undertaken.

Local residents are taking action to record the biodiversity of the forest and are asking Auckland Council and WLB to come on board to do a proper study.

Could the destruction of this forest cause damage to the concrete houses at the top of the cliff? Where is the report? Have WLB even considered this? Local residents are very concerned and have asked Auckland Council and WLB that no more tree removals take place.

Local residents have asked Auckland Council and WLB to stop. To call a moratorium until their concerns are openly, honestly and transparently addressed.

WLB appears to be proceeding to obtain resource consent for their plan to progress. If concerned, please write to WLB, or contact Tree Advocates. If have any information that might help save the forest, please contact:

(Wendy Gray, Ponsonby)