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Auckland Council

Western Springs Native Bush Restoration Project

Te Kaupapa Whakaora i Ngā Tupu Taketake ki Ngā Puna o Waiōrea

Waitematā Local Board will return an area in Western Springs Park to native forest, providing an improved ecosystem for indigenous flora and fauna.

Western Springs pine tree removal

Resource consent has been granted to remove the pine trees in the forested area bordered by West View Road, Auckland Zoo and Western Springs Lakeside Park and Stadium.

Update March 2020

On 17 March 2020 the Waitematā Local Board voted to delay the removal of the pine trees. The local board has asked 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 remove the trees. The proposed removal of the pines in March/April 2020 would have enabled progression of the  Western Springs Native Bush Restoration project. Waitemata Local Board chair Richard Northey says while the board 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.

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.

Why the trees are being removed

  • There is a clear and ongoing history of trees dying, live trees toppling, and the trunks of live trees snapping where weakened by decay and insect tunnelling.
  • Most of the pine trees are in poor health or dead.
  • Records show that even some trees with healthy canopies have snapped or toppled.

Based on the advice we received from an independent geotechnical consultant, removing the pine trees won't affect the stability of the slope. We will continue monitoring the area throughout the project.

What will be done

  • The trees will be felled from the ground.
  • Some of the wood will be removed or mulched, but most will be left behind to provide habitat for fauna including various native and exotic bird species.
  • The pine stand will provide habitat to various native and exotic bird species.
  • The area will be inspected by an ecologist before the project starts.

Timeframe for removal and planting of trees

  • Subject to further planning, the pine trees will be removed between March and April 2020.
  • Felling work is expected to take around three to four weeks, with the full project taking around two months; this timeframe avoids bird nesting season.
  • New tree planting will start immediately after the pine trees have been felled.

Track closure and area access

  • We closed the track through the pine trees to manage a risk to public safety.
  • The track will remain closed until after the pine trees are removed.
  • During felling, the area and all tracks around the trees will also be closed to the public.
  • All areas and tracks will be reopened as soon as possible after the trees have been felled.

Further information

If you wish to receive regular updated about the removal of the pine trees, or for more information, email westernsprings@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.