23 December 2015
The ancient Kauri in West-Auckland that has been the focus of a community campaign to save it was attacked at 6.15am this morning and viciously ring-barked risking the safety of Johno Smith occupying the tree.
As the arborist lay up in the canopy he was woken by the noise below. He saw eight people suspected to be security guards dressed in black arrive on the property. Three had electric chainsaws and proceeded to cut the tree while five were waiting in a van.
Shocked neighbours called out to the men who immediately stopped and departed the site but by then they had cut the full circumference.
“This is vengeful action by the developer who was facing being stopped by the High Court today” says Aprilanne Bonar, spokesperson for Save Our Kauri.
Neighbours are currently assisting Police who are on-site interviewing. Eye witnesses have given the registration of the van to the investigating officers as part of their enquiry.
Last Monday Save Our Kauri applied to the High Court for a Judicial Review and was in negotiations with the developers until late last night.