People power and common sense won the day on February 20th when the Auckland Transport Board went against officer advice in deciding not to go ahead with the planned widening of Great North Road that would have required the removal of six heritage Pohutukawa trees. A well organised campaign challenged an Auckland Transport and NZTA culture that was only willing to consider one option for over 3 years.
It was an important win not just for saving 6 trees but for forcing a rethink about the design of all roading projects. It was also a win for trees in general by raising awareness about the huge range of benefits that a magnificent stand of trees can provide the community and the landscape.
Much has been written during the campaign about the process, plans and final outcome. Here are some highlights:
Transport Blog – Pohutukawa saved (with links to previous posts)
Chair Shale Chambers’ presentation to the Auckland Transport Board on behalf of the Waitemata Local Board
Metro Magazine – Auckland Debates: Should we keep the Pohutukawa 6?