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Make An Election Promise For Our Trees

The Tree Council has today written to the leaders of all the major parties in the 2020 general election asking them to “make a commitment to support and enable the specific reinstatement of general tree protection on private land via the upcoming reform of the Resource Management Act”.

The loss of general tree protection from the RMA in 2012 unleashed an uncontrolled destruction of trees on private land in our cities that continues on a daily basis. The recent protest at Canal Road in Avondale, where protestors have been occupying the mature native trees threatened by development for over 80 days, has shone a light on the legal destruction that has been going on across all our cities in Aotearoa.

“People living in cities need trees” says The Tree Council’s Chair Sean Freeman. “Mature trees provide benefits and services worth millions of dollars to our cities by treating stormwater, removing air pollution, creating oxygen, reducing temperatures and improving our mental health. These benefits and services are real, measurable and highly valued in other countries. It is only in Aotearoa we have forgotten how important it is to retain our urban forest. Once it is gone we cannot replace it and future generations will not thank us for our carelessness in allowing it to be destroyed.”

The Tree Council has lobbied since 2012 that general tree protection should be restored to our legislation and that urban trees are extremely important for our quality of life. We want the parties to declare where they stand on this issue so that the public can know who to vote for to support protection of our urban forest.

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