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Your Local Views
Tuesday June 13 2017
Ode to the blue gums
Papanui-Innes Community Board member John Stringer writes about the loss of trees in the community With sadness I observed the felling of the Bishopdale blue gums. I regularly use both the larger Northlands Shopping Centre and the little Bishopdale Village Mall. The rank of tall australian blue gums ringing the village mall car park was a feature I enjoyed. As well as the trees, we recently lost the Mitre 10 at the mall, which has shifted further down Harewood Rd. Trees are important to a community, which is why we have protection orders and bylaws governing some trees. The Bishopdale blue gums were on private property so, in one sense, they can do as they please, but as trees are an important aesthetic to any community is it worth extending the reach of bylaws to cover not just historic trees but also the impact on a community of the removal of large treescapes? There is a lot of tree removal
FELLED: A Treetech arborist removed eight blue gums outside the Bishopdale Village Mall.
going on in our community. With all the change in our city and roadworks strangling our arterials, the continuity of arboreal landscapes is important for psychological well-being. Too much change all at once brings a feeling of dislocation and being wrenched from stability and familiarity. When I moved from a large property in Papanui several years ago, the owners cut down every single tree on what was one of the last un-subdivided residential properties in the area – a remnant quarter acre section. Down came the red peaches, the figs, a tall native, blueberries, pears and a huge magnolia that was such a feature of the local community.
Up went a tilt slab jammed in behind an older house. As the Bishopdale blue gums toppled, I reflected on Gerard Manly Hopkins’ famous eulogy to Binsey Poplars. “My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled, Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun, All felled, felled, are all felled; Of a fresh and following folded rank . . . O if we but knew what we do.” RIP Bishopdale blue gums – you will be missed.
“WHERE THE SALE NEVER ENDS”
DANGER: Red light runners at this Shirley Rd pedestrian crossing are causing concerns for pupils safety. PHOTO: GILBERT WEALLEANS
Pupils safety at risk •From page 1 someone suggested the children Community board chairwoman holding flags as they cross Ali Jones said off the back of the the road like they already do at meeting, the group came away St Albans Primary,” Ms Jones with seven action points. said. “The school is not that obvious, A full safety audit by the city it actually looks like a big office council, of traffic from Hills Rd to block . . . if drivers are aware there The Palms Shopping Centre has are children in the area they will also begun. slow down,” Ms Jones said. Although ideas such as Plans likely to be ima flashing 40km/h signs plemented include a sign outside the school were that warns of children in also proposed but is unthe area, increased police likely to go ahead. presence, increased city “They’re expensive and council enforcement and we have to tick a lot of pupils carrying flags as NZTA boxes related to they cross the road. getting that,” Ms Jones Ali Jones Mrs Jamieson said they said. were also looking at havBut due to traffic ing a longer waiting time between congestion along Shirley Rd after the light changing red and the school, Mrs Jamieson said it crossing turning green. wasn’t so much an issue of speed “It will be a combined effort. as red light running. The sign, police enforcing, city Ms Jones said changes would be council enforcing and also in place within four weeks.
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