Christmas rush averted with reprieve for Mont’s trees
Before any decision is made regarding the trees marked for removal, near the boat ramp at Ōpahi, a plan will be prepared and discussed by the community.
Rodney District Council’s Parks and Coastal operations manager, Chris Burgess, has advised Friends of the Mahurangi that an arborist has assessed the trees and a landscape architect has been briefed to produce a plan for the area.
Chris said he’d endeavoured to have the plan available for the community to discuss over the Christmas period, but hoped now to have available early in January.
Earlier, the trees in question were about to be removed when adjacent resident John Timmins demanded that the community first be consulted. Response to the Mahurangi Magazine article Battle for the Mont’s Trees has been universally in favour of trees being retained—support even coming from Auckland Region councillor for Rodney, Christine Rose:
I am very concerned at the suggestion to cut down trees at Ōpahi. I would not like to see the area dominated by parking. If I can help in anyway please let me know.
Christine is very familiar with the area—Mita Bay is her favourite summer family camping place.
It appears that the plan to remove four of the trees was the result of complaints made to the council about congestion, and—when the rather minimal ‘no parking’ signs are ignored—access is sometimes blocked to the dinghy rack.
The trees were planted by the local community, when the area was a dusty and unattractive road end. The trees’ spacing allows a number of cars to be parked there, often by canny locals, and it unlikely that more than one extra vehicle could be squeezed in with the removal of the four that were marked with yellow paint.
Chris Burgess concludes his email to Friends of the Mahurangi:
As early in January 2008 as I can achieve, I look forward to a meeting onsite with interested members of the community to discuss the plan and a where to from here.
So what loomed as an ugly and unwelcome measure to sacrifice trees for cars, could now prove to be late but lovely Christmas present that builds beautifully on the legacy of Mont Liggins’ community initiative.
Footnote The editor had long assumed there was a Battle of Monte Casino connection with Sir Graham’s Mont moniker. But no, it was a reference to a long-forgotten cartoon character of that name. Regardless, punning monastery as Mont’s trees proved irresistible.