The DCC will talk with the community board about the pines
at Waikouaiti Beach. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The Dunedin City Council says it will go back to the
Waikouaiti community next year to discuss what should be done
with a pine plantation next to the town's beach, after locals
expressed opposition to a plan to fell the trees.
This comes as the council received tenders last week showing
it was financially viable to use the money from felling the
trees to plant natives in their place.
At a meeting last month to discuss a plan to fell the trees,
residents expressed concern that it would leave them
vulnerable to coastal erosion and being battered by wind and
sand. Many were also concerned about the lack of consultation
on the plan.
About two-thirds of the 85 people at the meeting, held in the
East Otago Events Centre, raised their hands in support when
a member of the audience asked who opposed the removal of the
beach-frontage pine trees. Council parks manager Lisa Wheeler
said the council had received tenders for felling the 28ha of
trees last week that showed removing the trees and replacing
them with natives would be ''self-funding''.
If the trees were replaced with non-native trees, there would
probably be money left over to spend in the local community,
Ms Wheeler said.
Instead of going ahead with felling in January, as it had
originally planned, the council would now look at the various
options for the ageing pine plantation before taking them
back to the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board early next year,
Options included leaving the pine trees alone, chopping down
the trees in two stages, and leaving a buffer row of pine
trees to protect the dunes from erosion.
Letting the trees fall over on their own would, however,
present health and safety issues, she said.
Waikouaiti resident Liz Evans, who runs the local dog
kennels, Animotels, said the council's decision to discuss
the options with the community board did not make up for the
previous lack of consultation.
''It was absolutely disgusting. Most people found out about
... [last month's] meeting because I was a loudmouth,'' Ms
She would reserve judgement on the council's plans until it
met the community board next year.