Pact property manager Ferdi Koen is dwarfed by a
wellingtonia tree which is to be cut down. Photo by Dan
A Dunedin City Council committee has granted consent for
a giant, protected specimen tree to be cut down because of the
risk to the building and people underneath it.
The Wellingtonia tree in Taieri Rd in Wakari was thought to
be about 125 years old and expected to live for another 900
The problem is that it is growing in the courtyard of a large
house where people with intellectual disabilities live.
Owner of the house - Pact - wanted the tree removed because
of the moisture problems it was causing, the leaf litter and
the safety of residents if a large branch was to fall off.
During a resource consent hearing in April, Pact social
housing manager Ferdi Koen said he could not understand why
the house was extended to surround the tree in 1992.
The committee, made up of councillors David Benson-Pope,
Andrew Noone and Lee Vandervis, sought a third arborist's
opinion to clarify conflicting reports on the health of the
''The committee was very reluctant to grant consent for
removal of the tree, given its obvious significance.''
The committee decided there was a low risk of the tree or
branches falling but the consequences for residents if it did
happen were high.
Dunedin Amenities Society committee member Paul Pope said it
was disappointing to lose a significant tree.
''There are situations where you have to be pragmatic. That
tree is just too big. It is not designed for an 800sq m
section and it is going to cause problems in the future.''