The Little Picture – Of Diminishing Delegated Powers & Tree Protection

The Tree Council Inc : PO Box 78088, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Media Release – 25 February 2008

City trees at risk from imminent Council decision to diminish delegated powers to community Boards:

A meeting of the Auckland City Council seems quite likely to take away the role of Community Boards in planning decisions affecting generally protected trees. The Tree Council understands that the next meeting of the full Council, this Thursday 28 February, may vote for change to current policy.

A deputation from The Tree Council has been given approval to present a case against the move and will express its concerns over Council’s plans.

An item on the Council agenda relates to a report from a review of Committee and Community Board delegations. This report recommends that Community Board delegations focus only on the limited number of scheduled trees, rather than on all generally protected trees, as the practice has been prior to election of the new Council.

The Community Boards have already been instructed not to appoint tree spokespeople until the review has taken place.

The report also puts forward, as an option, that there be only one Community Board spokesperson for all planning issues, including trees, rather than separate spokespeople for trees, as at present.

A suggested time frame also allows only two days for feedback from the Community Boards.

The Tree Council is very concerned that there has been very little publicity about all this, and that the matter is being brought to full Council in great haste and without wider consultation, including with Community Boards themselves.

The Tree Council thinks that Community Boards should retain their present role considering generally protected trees, which provides a vital link for local input into local community concerns.

See Item 7.2 here

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