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Public meeting on Coromandel pohutukawas' fate

Public meeting to discuss Coromandel pohutukawas' fate

Thames and Coromandel residents will hold a public meeting this Sunday, April 18, at 2pm to discuss Transit New Zealand's intentions to butcher 58 pohutukawa along one of New Zealand's most scenic stretches of road.

The venue is the Tapu community hall, between Ruamahunga Bay and Coromandel town.

Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today that she expected residents would express strong opposition to the plans by Transit New Zealand and contractor Opus International to cut down 58 pohutukawa in order to widen the road at Ruamahunga Bay, and has encouraged all members of the community to participate in the meeting.

Transit's intentions were revealed three weeks ago, following a similar outcry last year when they announced plans to chop down 13 trees. Following consultation with concerned residents, there was an assurance that safety measures could be achieved by pruning the trees, rather than eliminating them completely.

"About 25 people met with Transit three weeks ago to hear its plans and were appalled at the scale of the proposed butchery," said Ms Fitzsimons. "Transit got the message, now the community will soon see if Transit would amend their proposal.

"The community will get another chance on Sunday to challenge Transit to act responsibly and listen to the public. This is a far worse version of the plan that had grossly offended Aucklanders and Coromandel residents last year.

"Transit has essentially ignored the whole consultation process in their dreams of turning the Coromandel's west coast into a fast, straight, ugly road. This is just the start of a plan to straighten and widen the whole coast road. All New Zealanders who love this place must act now to stop this state-owned vandalism."

Public Meeting to discuss Transit's threat to scenic pohutukawas 2pm Sunday, April 18 Tapu community hall (north of Ruamahunga Bay

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