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Councillors were caught out by council staff plans to remove the trees from a road reserve in Tyne St with a proposed stormwater realignment down Tyne St last week and called for a halt to staff plans until other options were explored, a council statement said.
The site is also alongside a planned new harbour accommodation development in Tyne St. Before the meeting Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said he and others believed the trees offered "good amenity value" and noted the drawings used in the design approval process for the accommodation included the trees.
Following a meeting on Friday at the site, councillors directed staff to produce a report considering options and costs for the February 5 council meeting.
The council statement noted "immediate neighbours" who would be affected were to be consulted to seek their views on the trees; at least four of the nine trees could remain, even if the planned stormwater main could not be relocated elsewhere; and that advice would be sought on suitable replacement trees if the proposal to relocate the stormwater pipe through King George Park was not preferable.