Urban Tree Protection - Is The Govt Listening?
The Tree Council, NZ Arboricultural Association and Greenscene Ltd
6th September 2009 – For immediate release
Urban Tree Protection - Is The Government Listening?
Many hundreds of people have contacted MPs in the past 2 weeks, urging them to delete Clause 52, which bans general urban tree protection rules, when parliament votes on the Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Bill this week. Despite hundreds of submissions, meetings with MPs, a packed public meeting and now further lobbying of MPs, the Minister for the Environment seems intent on ignoring common sense and the middle ground.
“We understand that the Minister is surprised to receive so much mail urging the government to delete Clause 52”, says Sigrid Shayer, Chair of The Tree Council. “It is no surprise to us, when in one fell swoop, the government is perversely proposing to set a maximum environmental standard, above which no local authority will be allowed to go. The standard government response to our letters shows they have not adequately researched their arguments, and more time is needed for a fuller review of the situation.”
The Tree Council, NZ Arboricultural Association and Greenscene Ltd (NZ’s largest arboricultural consultancy) want a review of the existing general urban tree protection rules, and Council’s administrative systems, but believe the principle of general urban tree protection should remain.
“If the Clause is not deleted and becomes law this week, our urban environment will be gradually degraded, and our international green image seriously weakened,” says Sigrid Shayer. “If the government does not see sense, we are committed to carrying on making the case to reverse this decision.”