National | Kauri

'Save our Kauri' battle reaches High Court

The fight to protect the iconic Kauri and Rimu trees in Titirangi is now in its final stages and has reached the High Court.

Over the next two days, the Save our Kauri Trust will be supporting the court case being made against the Auckland Council for granting consent to fell the Kauri and Rimu trees in the Waitakere Ranges.

A High Court injunction meant that for the past ten months the trees have been temporarily protected. The next two days will reveal whether the Resource Consents granted to fell these trees will remain in place.

Last year, activists Michael Tavares and Johno Smith occupied the Kauri known as Awhiawhi, in Titirangi. Many gathered in support of the pair and over 25,000 people signed the petition to save the iconic trees.

The North Island on its own has lost over 90% of the giant Kauri that once dominated its forests. Today, many are dying from disease.

Over 10% of Kauri within the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park have been confirmed to be affected by Kauri Dieback disease.

Tavares says, “This is not the time to be removing old healthy trees or putting at risk remaining healthy Kauri like Awhiawhi."

Save our Kauri Trust Chairperson, Dr Mark Harvery says, “We need to set a precedent this week in court for New Zealand to protect our healthy native trees.

It's important that councils hear the message that proposed developments must take greater account of our natural heritage and work within the ecological environment rather than clear felling mature native trees that take hundreds of years to replace.”

"It all comes down to this court case. All of our efforts over the past year culminate in the events of the next two days," Tavares adds.