Things that happened when the Titirangi Kauri tree started growing


Here is a list of things that happened in 1515 when the 500 year old Titirangi Kauri tree started growing…

Conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar founds Havana, Cuba

The army of Francis I of France defeats the Swiss at the Battle of Marignano

Thomas Wolsey is named Lord Chancellor of England and begins rebuilding Hampton Court Palace on the River Thames

Leonardo da Vinci completes  Bacchus

Raphael completes Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione, Portrait of Bindo Altoviti and La velata

The first Johannes Schöner globe is produced

Henry the VIII is on the English throne

Maximilian I rules the Holy Roman Empire

Louis the XII dies on French throne

Moctezuma II rules the Aztec civilisation

I’m sorry, but if you have a 500year old tree on your property – you have no right to chop it down or green light its destruction!  ‪What unbelievably ‎selfish maggots would agree to that!‬

If David Cunliffe climbs the tree to protect it, it’s just another reason he’s a legend.

The spineless and pathetic response from the City Council makes a mockery of environmentalism. If a 500 year old tree can’t be protected from some greedy developer mates of the Mayor, what the hell can be protected?


The Lorax wouldn’t put up with this shit


  1. Hi Martyn,

    I notice that the torch has now been past to Amy Adams who said she was investigating why Council gave consent!!!

    Case of Goebbels 1930’s strategy?

    First cause a crisis then go in as a shinning white knight and fix the problem, this was the Nazi era strategy then also.

    Matbe this is the reason for it all;
    Just as the Northland vote for NatZ among the iwi/hapu for cultural sensitivities (taonga in Māori culture is a treasured thing) was waning along comes a 500 year old & a 300 yr old both mighty kauri trees which is a tall poppy among Tangata Whenua taonga is about to be felled by a NatZ developer, who is also mates of the council who is NatZ mate also.

    No surprises here.

    Sounds like a staged event to me, as we watch the victorious NatZ stop the tree being lost to Maori, so the RMA is in “a safe pair of NatZ hands” even as the chopping up of the RMA about to get under way.

    Don’t be fooled Northlanders.

    These NatZ are all about deception so be wary.

  2. Do you actually care about reducing housing pressure in Auckland or are you just playing politics?

    The main driver for the massive increase in the cost of houses in Auckland is that supply can’t keep up with demand. To resolve this you can either intensify in existing housing areas (what this proposal seems to be about) or you build on Green field sites in the outskirts. Both of these options involve destruction of a certain amount of green space.

    It doesn’t matter if the houses are built by the state or private sector this will be the dilemma that will have to be faced. Placing greater restrictions on building houses (which it looks like you are advocating) will reduce supply pure and simple.

    • @ Gasman . Aw … I see you have a nice new friend . You and Dan . Lovely couple .
      The problem I have with you @ Gasman is that you’re nothing more than annoying .
      Auckland is there because the fuckwits ahead of you have warped the rest of the country into believing that Auckland’s all Ooh Ahh Wow when the reality is it’s a financial stone around the neck of the country and a burden on NZ’s actual economy which is agriculture .
      ( I see by tonights ‘ News ‘ that Yankee Doodle Jonky-Stien is in a tail spin because the worthless old cockies are in some sort of shit ? Thank God we have Auckland then aye ? ) Cutting down a small shrub would be a crime, much less a Kauri, only to have it replaced with yet more minions to the Banks, Insurance scum and sundry money lenders .
      @ Dan . You’re the dick , dick . Surprising you recognised the Kauri as a tree . At least you got that right . As for the ‘ sake of fucking ‘ . Should try fucking out sometime . Might take your mind of how stupid you don’t think you are .

      So what are you and Gasman up to tonight then ? Pulling the wings off flies ? Polishing the selfie of you and Yankee Doodle Jonky -Stien ? Phoning up your mothers and telling them lies then laughing out loud when they believe you ? Buying state houses then renting them back to the poor at four times the price ? Kitten punching ?

      In the days prior to liars, swindlers and dicks NZ had a population quite well spread out . Not every one wanted to squat in shitty old Auckland to hone the sport of deception for a dollar darlings .

        • Gosman , – with that pseudonym its all too easy to take an axe to your argument and cut down any logic you thought you were offering.

          Tell me …..why do you insist on a pseudonym here when you expound the virtues of govt mass surveillance?

    • We are importing people at a rate of 50,000 a year.
      That’s one third the size of Hamilton a year , every year.
      The felling of this beautiful magnificent Kauri was to allow for two architecturally designed houses to be built .
      I don’t think that’s going to solve the housing crises that has flourished,( to the power of ten), under National.
      That’s what happens when you’re slow out of the blocks, visionless and lacking imagination!
      Why don’t these ‘developers’ go back to the drawing board , use a little bit of imagination and design a house empathetically, using the tree as inspiration. Could be an award winner!
      It’s called lateral thinking. Some thing that is sadly lacking in most ‘right wingers ‘ brains!!!

      • I doubt if development on the site and saving the tree are compatible, even if the building’s footprint avoided the tree . Any disturbance to the root system (pipes and cables), compaction of soil over the roots (paths, driveways etc), diversion of watershed etc – all will have grave long term consequences on the trees health. Large Kauris are particularly susceptible.

        Often, people build close to large established trees, lay driveways etc and the tree appears to survive the build, but ten or fifteen years later the tree is terminal decline. The damage caused can take many years to show.

    • Ok, Gosman, you care more for money than for the environment. We get that.

      Now tell us how you would preserve what little remains of native forests and trees in this country?

      The marketplace?

      The same marketplace that has seen most of this country’s native forests burnt or felled to make way for agriculture and urban settlements?

      Perhaps you’d be more comfortable in the concrete jungle of New York City? Over-looking Central Park, and thinking, no doubt, “What a prime piece of real estate – I could fell those useless trees and build a few thousand high-rise apartment blocks…”

      Honestly, why do you bother living here?

        • Don’t you care about the environment then, Gosman?

          But seriously – do you really, really, think that bowling a 500 year old kauri and 200 year old rimu is going to solve this country’s housing problem?

          You can’t be seriously suggesting that? I refuse to believe you’re that thick.

          • Have you heard the phrase ‘There is no such thing as a free lunch’ Frank. You may well be right that this tree needs to be protected. But you can’t deny the process around this was followed. This suggests that you need to make the planning process more restrictive if you want to stop this from happening in future. Doing this will slow up the approval process and lead to less houses being built. To deny this is to deny basic facts. You may well be happy with that. I ask you again – Are you happy to slow down housing development in Auckland and cause increased housing costs?

            • Ahaa! The old “Free Lunch” gambit; the catch cry of neo liberals the world over. I hate to burst your CO2 filled balloon dude but that assumes we all live completely independently of each other and the universe we live in. We are a societal species and that’s it. No cute Anglo/American phraseology will change that; it’s a simple fact; get used to it.
              And why would you want to hang around a known lefty site anyway when you are a neo liberal? Seems a bit strange to me. Do you really think that you can deliver some pithy turning phrase that will make these die hard thicko commies (such as myself) change from one side to t’ other? Just serves to reinforce my belief that the neo liberals are totally unreal. Get real! 🙂

              • Ummm…. no. In fact the complete opposite. The phrase completely recognises we live in an interdependent society. The point of the phrase is that doing one thing will have costs somewhere else. Hence you may get a ‘free’ lunch but only because someone else has paid for it. The same applies to saving Kauri trees. You may save this tree but at the cost of more expensive houses. This may be a price worth paying but you should at least acknowledge the cost.

                • L00L ! – it is the maggot greedy little neo liberals that created the conditions for the housing shortages in the first place.

                  More demand = ridiculously more cash in bank. I say ridiculously because we are one of the most overpriced cities in the world.

                  And like you Gosman (gotta love that pseudonym – care for a piece of mass surveillance ? – not to worry -your pseudonym will take care of that , wont it…) , these neo liberal maggot politicians know full well if they really wanted to ease the housing shortage , they wouldn’t have to cut down trees such as this and rape public opinion they way they do.

                  You may talk of no free lunch but I’m afraid your stomachs going to end up empty over this one.

  3. Cunliffe said he will climb the tree and save it the dick. Its a tree ffs, we have millions of them. Get over it.

    • Actually, Dan, no, we don’t have “millions” of Kauri trees.

      Most have been cut down or burnt since white settlement.

      That is something you’d know if you took a greater interest in the world around you, instead of relying on cynicism and neo-liberal dogma to steer your way through life…

  4. It’s the equivalent of going into a 500 year old chapel in England and smashing it to pieces because you want to build a deck.

    • No it is not the equivalent of a 500 year old chapel…..unless that chapel is privately owned on private land…in which case you would be trespassing and guilty of willful damage

    • It’s considerably worse than taking a selfie of your initials carved into the Colosseum, which got world headlines and will gain the perpretrators a hefty punishment.

  5. If all the Daily Blog contributors and readers are so up in arms about this situation then they should offer to buy the property off the developer, this will of course involve effort and using one’s own money.

    • Ahhh , you’re all here tonight ! @ Stevie ? You really want to get all righteous about who’s money’s in your pocket do you ? Are you sure you want to go down that road ? Unlike yourself , I don’t really like to judge and assume unnecessarily though now and then, just for fun .

      I bet you’re overweight and sitting in your underpants waiting on your mum to come home to cook you dinner ? I bet you hide your biscuits from her ? Do you rube yourself allll over with the NBR ? You’re porn magazine is the Realtor ? You have no friends, but you do have a life size doll called Reggie and sometimes Reggie says for you to do bad things ? Is Reggie made up to look like cameron slater ? Is Reggie, cameron slater ? Are you cameron slater ? [offensive comments deleted. Please make your point without recourse to crudities, Countryboy. – ScarletMod]

      • “I bet you’re overweight and sitting in your underpants” that sounds like a description of Bomber Bradbury writing his next rant.

        [Boys! Enough of the underpants metaphors! Bad visuals. – ScarletMod]

    • That is such a bland typical neo- liberal answer to everything.
      However I have a lifetime of experience building architecturally designed houses on difficult sites and would freely offer advice or suggestions to help broker a compromise…..but I fear ‘the fat mans track’ , ie the easy route, will be taken by chopping it down!
      It’s more ‘cost effective’ don’t you see!

    • Stephen – someone who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing sums up your attitude precisely.

      Tell me, what happens to the environment when people can no longer afford to outbid the wealthy; the connected; the powerful?

      And really, is money the answer to everything in your world?

      Sad, very sad.

  6. Bring back the Highlander! David Cunliffe rocks and he could have been our prime minister it makes me sad he isn’t! He knows the difference between right and wrong which is sadly lacking all over NZ since the FJK and his goons sat their arseholes on the throne.
    And these tree chopping dickheads need to watch the Lorax.

  7. and looking to the future – where this tree should still exist, now fully half grown, in 2515 ad – still inspiring minds and a healthy sane future…

    BTW ask any kid, anywhere- should we cut down a tree like this – would even one say yes? I would suggest strongly NO would be the unanimous answer; how does this couple/ council not get it???

  8. This is what I really admire about David Cunliffe.
    He’s not afraid to step up to the plate and do the right thing.
    He did it for Womens Refuge and as it turned out, looking at the latest Womens abuse statistics, it shows that he was absolutely correct in going the extra mile to highlight their plight.
    But i fear, especially when it comes to David Cunliffe , that once again the media will play the man and not the ball.
    What some members of the media need is poke in the head and a bloodied nose , just to know what it feels like.
    Nothing like a bit of experiential learning. Maybe then and only then will they man up and report what’s really important !!

    • hang on hang on! He hasn’t actually climbed the tree yet, he has merely said that he would if he felt that he had to.

      We must be careful to always judge politicians by what they do, not what they say they would do.

      • Well David Cunliffe showed the courage of his convictions by going into bat for Women’s Refuge when they desperately needed someone to speak out , so his track record so far looks pretty good!

            • I’m sorry for the misquote. Here’s the word perfect version..

              “Umm, ladies and gentlemen can I begin by saying I’m sorry, I don’t often say it, I’m sorry for being a man right now….”

              Yep. Track record and reputation still unchanged.

            • It’s not really a misquote. You are probably meaning it was taken out of context. However you are wrong on that point as well.

              • Do you have vested interests in a certain piece of property with a Kauri tree on it Gosman?….

                Or are you having problems with a more sane council that’s preventing you doing the same so you can build more cheap second rate accommodation so you can grossly overcharge the tenants?

              • No, Gosman, Frank was right on all counts. You’re just living in your own fantasy world as usual.

                If Frank was “wrong on that point” as well, give us the CORRECT version then. Can you do that? Or are you just blowing it out your — again?

  9. Totally agree!

    Heartening so many Kiwis are speaking out against this situation.

    The council planners and commissioners should be named and shamed and hopefully not be allowed to do this again.

    Furthermore this is just one example that was made public, there are so many more horrific decisions being made by the council planners in Auckland.

    Soon our natural heritage and open space views will be gone.

    Once a concrete monstrosity is consented instead of bush, you can’t get that bush back.

  10. I don’t blame the developer. He owns the property fair and square, he did due diligence by going through all the correct channels and applying for consent, he was granted consent and has always been honest and up-front about his intentions.

    He has every right to chop the trees down if that is his intention; after all, they are on his own private property.

    In this case, I think you are wrong in some of your accusations and that when you refer to certain people as “unbelievably selfish maggots”, you should in fact be referring to the protestors who seek to trample over the private property rights of the land owner. The protesters are trespassers. I like trees too, our garden has over 1 hectare planted out in natives, but out of respect for the property rights of another man, I would never seek to impose my will or opinion on another landowner because, quite frankly, it is none of my god damned business.

    How many kauri trees have the protesters planted on their own property? I hazard a guess that a lot of them probably don’t even own property.

    • It may not be the developers fault , but it is also not the trees fault that 500 years ago it couldn’t foresee that a wanker from the council would allow a house to be built right where it decided to put down roots.
      The tree was there first. It’s buyer beware. The developer should never have bought the land thinking it was alright to take it down . He’s an idiot !!

      • There you go criticising the developer again. It is his property, he has followed due process and has done nothing wrong.

        I am surrounded by trees between zero and 95 years old where I live. They are there because 4 generations of my family (myself included) planted them. Nobody told us to, nobody thanked us for it and nobody paid us to do it. But it is interesting that a man from Environment Canterbury once showed interest in declaring it a ‘significant natural area.’ Natural!

        The land and the tree are now out of the public hands. Let them go, or gather the objectors and their money together and make the developer an offer. You may not think so but he has the right (and the paperwork) to do what he wants.

        Thirty years ago we gave away the cutting rights to 4×100 year old English oak trees to a furniture maker. We then planted 3 English oaks in a more appropriate place (away from a house) and planted 900 natives where the oaks were. I wonder how many of the critics in this case have planted any kauri trees themselves?

        I suggest that everyone with the energy to criticise needs to go out and plant 3 kauri trees each as a form of protest for losing one. Just be careful that you plant them where they will not be in anyones way for ummmmm….about 1000 years should do it.

        • Mike you talk like a member of the entitled gentry.
          For you the world rotates around your private property.
          Bomber showed that there is a long story behind this tree that runs parallel to the expansion of European conquistadores into the ‘new world’ to turn natural ecology into private property.
          Bomber’s examples of what happened 500 years ago unfortunately fail to make the point explicit.
          He stops with the Aztecs who were a collectivist society not given to destroying their ecology.
          Had he gone on to Titirangi he would have found Maori settlement in a Kauri forest.
          The attitude of Maori to Kauri is to consider them living creatures that share their world.
          Lore prevented Maori from tripping over Kauri roots because they were sensitive to damage.
          The history of colonisation of Aotearoa has fragmented Nature into individual property rights.
          The particular specimen in Titirangi was one of the few not harvested by colonial settlers.
          Probably because it is a strange shape, thinner, and with large boughs closer to the ground, not at all the conventional shape of an easily millable Kauri.
          Lacking monetary value is survived until it became a cost detracting from the property value of a house with a view.
          So this lonely survivor of colonial pillage is now about to be killed by a new generation of colonial pillagers, namely, a property developer working in cahoots with a Council and a NACT government only concerned with maximising profits for the .01% at the expense of destroying nature.

          • I have never considered myself entitled gentry, merely a guy from a lower middle class family with ancestral and cultural values.

            You make valid points from a Maori cultural and also from an ecological point of view, of which I can sympathise with both. My points are that the landscape is what we make it. It is never ‘complete.’ It is a moving feast. We are at the stage in our own situation that we are pulling more out more than we plant as the dominant trees suppress the weaker saplings.

            I know it is not the kauri trees fault that nearly 2 million people have chosen to squash themselves in to an area the size of Auckland, but the fact remains that it is on private land and the protesters, especially the tree climber, have no right to be there. As a people, we are very careful to respect the rights, beliefs and culture of our indigenous people lest we be accused of being culturally insensitive or racist and thereby causing offence. We must also be sensitive to the culture, traditions, values and beliefs of our various immigrant groups, including the Europeans…..those dirty old pakihas among us. Respect where respect is due, and in this case the law favours the owner of the land. Maori culture will of course be considered via consultation on all public land, and Maori of course exercise their right to do what they like on their own (collectively owned) private land. I can only assume they are flat out planting kauri saplings as we speak, along with all the other people among us who claim to value them so highly.

            The tree could have been protected in many ways in its journey to the present. The council could have retained ownership of the land as a reserve, local Maori could have claimed it for its cultural significance as part of one of their numerous full and final settlements, or any or all of the protesters could have brought the land. But none of those options appear to have been exercised.

            It is too late to save these trees now and the behavior of the protesters could be construed as being culturally insensitive to the landowner. The best option for the protesters now is to pack up camp and move to a spot outside the council buildings and protest against council processes.

            They will just have to be careful not to push to create laws that would force severe and idealistic limits on the use of private land without compensation. After all, there is no need to create another injustice.

          • The Aztecs had a massive influence on their environment, not least their efforts to turn the lake they lived on in to an urban environment. As for being a collectivised society they had an extremely hierachical and militarised civilisation where they forced other nations to give up some of their people for human sacrifices. If that is the sort of society you are promoting it is no wonder you don’t have much support.

            • Mike, everything you say shows that for you nature is ‘landscape’, that is, a social construction of the private property rights of individuals. That is the hubris of modern capitalism.

              I used the term ‘entitled’ and ‘gentry’ on purpose to convey the ‘values’ that those rights entitle you to be a member of a landowning class that is part of the .01%.

              I start from the common property of antiquity and show how the historical privatisation of property has brought us to the near end of civilisation.

              For the benefit of Gosman I point out that the Aztecs as a collectivised tributary society represented a point along this path which had developed a class hierarchy but did not and could not dominate nature as does our capitalist society.

              You could say that Maori society too was at a point of evolving in the direction of a tributary society at the point of European colonisation.

              Capitalism emerged from the tributary society as a society that develops by dominating and destroying nature in the name of individual property rights.

              The landscape you talk about today is that laid waste by climate change no matter how many trees and shrubs you move around.

              The fate of the Titirangi Kauri makes no sense unless put in that historical context.

              Its no use treating it as a legal contest by weighing up competing property rights when it is symptomatic of a wider environmental and social crisis.

              Rather it’s symbolic of the need to return to a collective form of human settlement that lives in harmony with nature for the sake of the survival of many species.

  11. Here here 10000%

    Good for Cunliffe.

    This destruction of old historic trees is criminal for housing is showing the worst of our colonial past at work again here.

    Which is the quick buck attitude only to slash and burn for what?

    MONEY and no forward planning. Shame on you all who pillage as Key and his clowns are always keen to do so what have they got planned for when they take the RMA apart?

    The mind boggles..
    Winston must win Northland for our future now.

  12. What’s the basis for describing this as a “500-year-old” tree? I know kauri are slow-growing, but that thing’s a real fucking midget if it’s half a millennium old. Is there evidence for its age, or is it just some bullshit that the credulous are keen to swallow?

        • Actually, Milt, if you dispute the age of the tree, give us evidence or reasoning toward it. If experts say it’s 500 years old (give or take a few days or weeks, why should I question it? Because it might be inconvenient to a housing project?

          • It’s up to the people claiming this tree is 500 years old to present some evidence. If your evidence is that ‘experts’ have declared it thus, I’m willing to overlook the logical fallacy of appeal to authority as long as you can name the ‘experts’ and the nature of their expertise.

            As to why you should question it, the OP is predicated on the tree being 500 years old, without any basis for that assumption being offered. Do you believe everything you read in the papers?

            • Hey PSYCHO – nice Assyrian nazi symbolism you got there as your moniker , ……and there’s a simple way to estimate very accurately a tree of that species age based on trees felled in the past.

              This done by aborists and the scientific community .

              You count the tree rings of those trees and then estimate approximate girth accordingly . DUH !

              • I’m asking what evidence you or anyone else has that this tree is 500 years old. Your answer is that it’s possible to find out how old it is. Well, duh – I’m aware that it’s possible to find out how old it is. The question is, has anyone done that? There’s a great deal of declaring the tree to be 500 years old, with no-one demonstrating their basis for saying so. I’m happy to shut up if someone can point me to that evidence.

  13. I’ll be interested to find out how old the tree actually is when they count the rings, cos it sure doesn’t look 500 years old to me. It’s not that I agree with it being felled, I just feel exaggerating it’s age is dishonest.

    • I beg to differ. You have no idea of how much I, and my family, care for the environment!

      I am not a developer in your sense. I seem, by accident, to have made it my life’s work to buy blocks of land that have been run down by unscrupulous ‘slash and burners’ and nurse it back to health. At the start, my main motivator was profit through capital gain, but there is an enormous sense of satisfaction to be gained from saving the land from the incompetent among us and turning it around. But the profit motive nevertheless must always be there as an incentive…a man’s gotta eat, you know!

      I hope you can appreciate the vast knowledge base I have gained from doing this over the last 35 years. There is more to caring for the environment than separating your waste into 3 bins. My specialist subject is soils, more specifically organic and inorganic carbon mineralisation and sequestration and my passion is in ecological biodiversity and equilibrium. In other words I am a tree planter, and have little sympathy for the opinions those who are not only failing to ‘walk the talk’ and plant on their own land, but who seek to control the actions of others on their own land through generic legislation.

      I will let you in to a little secret. I once decided that our local council took out too many trees on a re contouring job on the corner of a country road down here. I went out one night and planted 4 broadleaf trees there on the council land. Two of them are still there 20 years later. Smug satisfaction. What a rebel I am!

  14. I bet they planned to make their ceilings from the Kauri like the Auckland Art Gallery made theirs from rare and expensive swamp Kauri how gross! When will people get it, their aren’t many left chopping them down and making floors and ceilings out of these amazing trees for fashion is GROSS! Like fucken wearing fur, but no rich Dorklanders just want whats in fashion and rare and expensive to prove what tossers they are.

  15. Wow! Such an outcry and reaction, not just from us lot here but also elsewhere in the “mainstream”. It’s very heartening to see people getting fired up over something that outrages against their values and beliefs. I’m certainly in favour of saving these trees from materialism and usury.

    At the same time I can’t help noticing that more people have reacted to this issue than did over child poverty. That does make me feel a little uneasy.

  16. Yes …and mass surveillance , and unilateral decisions by the maggot John XKEYSCORE to commit us to war , and encroachment into the workers wages and conditions , and the glaringly obvious corruption of his govt , and the TTPA which they are hell bent on signing us up to , the list goes on and on…….

    Kinda makes you realize why they want to ease up the RMA….would make it a lot easier to cut down more trees to enrich them and their mate developers , wouldn’t it…under the pretext of the housing shortage which they have actively encouraged to ramp up land prices , mortgages and rents.

    Hell !!!!…no wonder they don’t give a shit about trees and the environment.

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