64 days ago

Vandals chop down and poison 23 sacred trees and shrubs in Takapuna

Caroline Williams Reporter from North Shore Times

Kia ora koutou. Vandals have allegedly poisoned and cut down dozens of native trees and shrubs of huge significance to Māori near Takapuna Beach.

Around 23 trees and shrubs at Te Uru Tapu (The Sacred Grove) at the northern end of the beach were discovered to have been vandalised during a regular inspection by Auckland Council’s senior urban forest specialist on Tuesday.

The grove of ancient pōhutukawa trees is of high significance to mana whenua, with the trees and vegetation in the area protected by the Auckland Unitary Plan.

A section of the grove has been fenced off since June 2018, due to the risk of trees falling onto a boardwalk below. It appeared someone had deliberately entered the restricted area to cut down the trees, which included karo, karaka, nīkau, tōtara and coprosmas. Drill holes were also found at the base of three mature karo trees, which suggested they had been poisoned.

None of the trees are expected to survive. Auckland Council has launched an investigation and is asking anyone with information to email sacredgrove@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz. Click 'read more' for the full story.

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