For too many attendees this was a groundhog day event.
Because yet again Westies are being forced to stand up to a Wellington-led move to abolish tree protection rules in the Waitakere Ranges. It really is crazy. But it seems that destroying West Auckland’s natural heritage has become a National Party obsession.
Environment Minister Amy Adams’ so-called Resource Management Reform Bill is a very poorly drafted piece of law. I reckon it’s deliberate, because when you untangle the jargon it’s nothing but a recipe for a chainsaw massacre.
Well West Aucklanders have seen all this before. We love our patch, we were staunch against Wellington’s chainsaws every other time – and last night the public meeting unanimously voted that we’ll be staunch against them now.
The National Government could save themselves one heck of a headache (and avoid underestimating the West Auckland community again) by simply excluding the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area from part 12 of Adams’ Bill.
But if National uses its numbers on behalf of the Property Council to push the chainsaw massacre through, then locals are determined this will not be the end of the story.
With the support of Auckland’s Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, Councillor Sandra Coney, Waitakere Ranges Local Board Chair Denise Yates and member Greg Presland, the Ratepayers have agreed we will propose to Auckland Council a Local Bill to revisit this attack.
Waitakere is our place. The rainforest in the Ranges is our children’s and their children’s natural heritage.
With shared resolve, and with history on our side, Westies will certainly save our trees again.