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Ferry Rd Pines To Be Removed

9 May 2005

Ferry Rd Pines To Be Removed

Hutt City Councillors last night approved a plan to use the Boeing 107 helicopter being used by Wellington City Council to bring forward the extraction of storm damaged pines in Ferry Rd.

$150,000 had been included in the Draft 2005/06 Community Plan to remove around 600 pines, but officers noted savings could be achieved if Council agreed to the work being undertaken once the specialist heavy-lift helicopter finished its work in Wellington.

Harbour Ward Councillor and Eastbourne resident, Joy Baird said that her preference would have been to have the entire block of pines removed, but recognised the opportunity to make use of the specialised helicopter made sense.

"It is important that we at least deal with the trees posing the greatest risk to public safety as soon as possible and closely monitor the site for signs of further slippage," said Cr Baird.

"In the medium term we need to look at other options for problem tree management."

The pines at the Ferry Rd site are above two houses extensively damaged by a slip in Sunshine Bay in August 2004.

Council contractors recently felled trees below Ferry Road and carried out earthworks to reduce the risk of further slipping in a gully above Sunshine Bay. However, a similar, but smaller, slippage was discovered in an adjacent gully.

The net cost to Council is expected to be $180,000.

The Boeing 107 has two advantages over other machines. First, it is the least noisy large helicopter in New Zealand. Secondly, the Boeing 107 can lift 4.7 tonnes. By way of comparison, the helicopter used to extract pines from Galbraiths Gully was only capable of lifting 1 tonne.

There are approximately 600 trees contained in the area defined as Phase 1. Of these, approximately 140 have already been felled. The bulk of the felled trees have been placed across the slope at the top of Ferry Road in anticipation of later removal.

In total it is estimated that approximately 600 tonnes of timber would be extracted. Based on current market rate of $50 per tonne, the conservative estimated income from the timber is likely to be $30,000 plus gst.

ENDS

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