Many people are not aware of the extent of change that is coming to the tree cover on nearby maunga. An ongoing protest on Owairaka is almost a year old.
The plan illustrated is a visual indication of the changes that are coming. It is a compilation of two Tupuna Maunga Authority (TMA) plans for Puketapapa/Mt Roskill. Of interest is the amount of mature tree cover (pink) being removed and the smaller area (green) of replacement planting.
This maunga is lightly planted in comparison to some others. All 160 exotic trees (shaded pink on the plan) will be removed and replaced with 8,991 new native plants (shaded green on the plan). The 160 trees make up 60% of current tree cover with the remaining 40% being existing natives. New plantings will essentially be roadside planting and some boundary planting. According to the plans, the vast bulk of the new plantings are ferns, grasses, flaxes and low growing shrubs.
Based on last season’s planting on other maunga, the track record so far is not impressive, with a substantial proportion of plants failing to survive the harsh conditions and dry summer. Plantings near summits utilised a method of pinning the planter bags on top of the ground to avoid digging any holes.
Some feel that exotic trees which have survived for decades on maunga are being treated in a similar way to statues that are now deemed offensive.