About the Western Springs Native Bush Restoration Project
This project aims to enhance the ecological and amenity value of Western Springs Park. It will return the exotic pine dominated vegetation to native bush by planting trees including:
The native bush will provide an important habitat for a range of wildlife including our native tui, grey warbler and silvereye.
The project is expected to take around two months.
Restoring native bush in Western Springs
In 2015 the Waitematā Local Board approved the commencement of the ‘Western Springs Native Bush Restoration’ project.
The intent of the project was to undertake a programme of pine removal and native tree replanting over the next three years.
This was to meet the objective of the Western Springs Lakeside Park Plan and to remove the risk to public safety and adjacent properties.
Resource consent and decision to proceed with works
A resource consent was granted in September 2019 to remove the stand of pine trees.
In January 2020, the Waitematā Local Board Chair requested that the decision to proceed with the removal of the whole stand of pine trees under the resource consent be brought before the local board.
A decision about whether or not to proceed with the consented works is yet to be made by the local board.
Restoration project updates
November 2020 update
On 3 November 2020, the Waitematā Local Board voted to proceed with the existing resource consent to remove all pines trees in the forest at Western Springs Lakeside Te Wai Ōrea Park using the lower impact methods identified in Professor Visser's independent technical report to the extent legally possible within the resource consent.
By a majority, the local board agreed that whole stand removal of the pines using Professor Visser's lower impact methods would be the best option to meet the board's objectives for the Western Springs Native Bush Restoration Project (to protect the existing ecology, enable access to the forest and to comply with council's health and safety obligations).
The removal of the pine trees is intended to commence in early 2021 following the end of the bird nesting season. Removal of the pine trees and planting of the new native trees is expected to take around two months. It is anticipated that public access to the forest will be enabled around mid-2021.
October update 3
The Tree Consultancy Company (TCC) assessed 198 pine trees in the Western Springs Forest between 21 September and 8 October 2020. TCC has now provided the council with their final technical report following this assessment.
In addition, the council has received further independent technical reports from:
Dr Rien Visser University of Canterbury - this report comments on options for tree extraction in Western Springs Forest; and, Bioresearches – an ecological report.