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Private Treehugger Reports

Column: From the Western Front
by Liz Nevill

I must get dispatches to the Queen. I cannot shirk my duty as a member of the commonwealth to alert her of the carnage the Waitakere City Council Eco Works is wreaking on her people's chain which runs alongside the Henderson Creek and borders my bunker.

Not so long ago her Majesty's Chain was a tranquil ribbon of green, a magic world away from noise and pollution. A place to walk under giant oaks, to contemplate, to watch the herons and the ducks and hear the tuis and warblers and in the evenings the Mork Porks haunting calls.

Suddenly, without warning battle clouds gathered.. war loomed. Following a series of vision meetings, and a reccy by Waitakere City's chief warlord, Eco Works sounded it's battle bugle and sent in the troops.

First down came great gangs with machines to tear out a swath all along the bank. They rumbled away and another gang rumbled down, concrete mixes firing on all four, and set about laying a concrete cycle track... but strangely only intermittently... leaving large sections( the hard parts) in the raw.

Then came the tree police in hoards. Slash, slash they went. Kill, kill, kill. If it's not a Pohutakawa get it. With Nazi like commitment to an environmental holocaust they targeted any specie not politically correct. They launched assault after assault.. day after day.. In came the diggers and the mulches and the hard hat brigade with the chainsaws. Out went the sweet smelling Jasmin, down came the softly rustling bamboo (no more bean or tomato stakes around here) down came wild fruit trees and morning glory creepers with their deep velvet trumpets. Away went the tuis and the herons. The mork- porks headed for the hills.

The half finished cycle track is becoming the domain of motorbike stunt riders practicing fear tactics on the elderly who still tackle what once was a sweet stroll.

Worse, according to the council contractor who spent this morning churning a huge area outside my house in to a dust bowl and pelting me with bamboo spears from a a mulching machine the size of a tank, we ain't seen nothing yet!
What drives a council reputed to be in grave shortage of money to spend significant sums denuding places it itself named Sylvan Crescent and Sherwood Park in recognition of their tranquility. Vision meetings. I don't think so.

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