First victory in the fight to save a 500 year-old Kauri tree…

Protester Michael Tavares is 25 metres up the kauri. Photo / Michael Tavares / Twitter
Protester Michael Tavares is 25 metres up the kauri. Photo / Michael Tavares / Twitter

About 50 people have gathered to save a 500-year-old kauri from the chop this morning, and have scored a significant victory.

Residents of the Auckland suburb Titirangi have vowed to stop the felling of the tree, arguing that is unfair to lose such a treasure from their neighbourhood.

Contractors had been due to chop down the tree this morning but left saying they did not have the power to remove protesters.

One protester, Michael Tavares, climbed 25m up the tree and told Radio New Zealand he was “prepared to spend some time up here”.

He said he heard about the issue on Twitter, and contacted the campaign organisers to find out more. When he learned the trees were to be felled this morning, he came to lend a hand. “I’m up here and I’m safe, I’m securely on,” he said. “I’m safe up here so long as work isn’t attempted to fell this or other trees near it.”

“I’m under no illusions that the tree is saved, or that me up here is going to solve all the problems, but it does mean the tree stays another day so the conversation can keep happening. I’m prepared to spend some time up here, but I can’t reveal too much about my strategy.”

Tree experts estimate the kauri has been alive since the 1500s. Another tree estimated to be about 300 years old has also been targeted for felling.

http://http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11413985&ref=NZH_FBpage

http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/3rd-degree/nz-kauri-sent-to-china-in-black-gold-rush-2014043016#axzz3TpTOe5jU   Another Kauri tree story here:

http://www.radiolive.co.nz/AUDIO-National-to-blame-for-kauri-decision—David-Cunliffe/tabid/506/articleID/75351/Default.aspx   Update

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