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Contingency Plans For Removal Of Landmark Pine

Auckland City Council

Damage to the landmark Monterey pine that gives One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie) its name has reduced the remaining life of the 125 year old tree to around three years, it was reported to Auckland City's Parks and Recreation Committee today.

Parks Services manager Cameron Parr told the committee that dry weather or strong winds could hasten the pine's demise. A second chainsaw attack earlier this month has left cuts on the tree's northern side up to 280mm in deep and 88% of the trunk's circumference severed. The first attack was in October, 1994.

Committee chairperson Cr Phil Raffils says the tree could be a threat to the safety of visitors to the summit. It is being monitored regularly and if it appears to be unstable, a plan is in place for the tree's removal.

"We would immediately close off the area around the tree if we thought there was any danger. A contractor has prepared a contingency plan for felling the tree and it would be lifted out by helicopter, " said Cr Raffils.

Other than in an emergency, resource consents would be required before the pine was removed. Tangata whenua are also being consulted.

No firm plans have been made for replanting, but not because of any lack of ideas says Cr Raffils.

"Phones have been running hot, and we and the mayor's office have been deluged with letters from people with ideas about what should - and shouldn't - be planted. It must be the most talked-about tree in the country."

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