Piha Pohutukawa - from Protect Piha Heritage
Media Statement 30 November – for immediate release
Protect Piha Heritage has welcomed the decision of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board not to agree to the “hard trimming” of one of its two remaining limbs of a pohutukawa at 58 Beach Valley Road, Piha. Instead, a speed hump is to be installed, along with two bollards, in place of the current fixed rail.
Auckland Transport had recommended cutting off one limb of the tree that partly overhangs the footpath in the interest of “public safety”, even though Piha-ites and visitors have walked down Beach Valley Rd to the beach for decades with few hassles.
For Protect Piha Heritage, Megan Vertelle told the Board that all that was needed was a sign to alert visitors of the leaning tree, and removing a short section of wooden rail so that those who couldn’t “duck” could skirt around the pohutukawa. “People walk on the roads in Piha all the time,” said Ms Vertelle. “It is a coastal village, not Queen St. Auckland Transport needs to recognise that here in the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area they need to take a more environmental approach – not ‘one-size fits all’. A Facebook page set up for the tree had attracted 140 “likes” before the meeting.
This particular tree is part of a remnant coastal
pohutukawa forest which is rare on the West Coast and is a
distinctive feature of the arrival at Piha beach.
Protect Piha Heritage has proposed that this pohutukawa, along with the entire Beach Valley Road canopy, be protected through scheduling by the Auckland Council.