Sanity has finally settled in and the tree killer developers have realised they won’t get invited to any more dinner parties if they commit environmental vandalism and destroy this magnificent 500 year old tree.
The debate however has been extraordinary in terms of seeing NZers values, it has highlighted the gross incompetence of the Auckland Council and it has given a glimpse of the polluted future we have in store for us under Key’s RMA once it’s had its environmental protections gutted.
The Right in NZ have made two arguments over this tree. The first is their attempt to denigrate the suggestion that the tree is 500 years old. Let me respond to that. I don’t care if it’s 500 years old, 400 years old, 300 years old or 200 years old. As far as I am concerned, a tree that makes it to 150 years of age deserves protection. If it can get to 150 years old without getting chopped down, the tree deserves protection unless there is significant reasons not to. The owners desire to build another bloody house as part of the subdivided middles classes fetish with property speculation is not a significant bloody reason, which brings us to the second argument the Right have used in this debate which is ‘it’s my property fuck off’.
This unbridled greed and privileged mentality that would gladly destroy a half millennium old tree just to make the point that it’s ‘theirs’ should be met with the sort of social disgust reserved for boastful drunk drivers and child porn collectors.
In terms of the City Council’s response, how the hell could a mate of the Mayor get the green light to destroy a 500 year old tree, and if a 500 year old tree can’t be protected in the first place, what the hell can be protected? Surely a tree as magnificent as this one demands protection, that the Council was powerless to stop it is an indictment on our City.
The final point of course is that this type of environmental vandalism will become the norm once National start implementing their newly gutted RMA. National’s developer mates who espouse the ‘it’s my property, fuck off” mentality will be patting their chainsaws in anticipation over what they can chop down and exploit.
As the Planet faces a catastrophic climate change future, here we are arguing over a 500 year old trees right not to be destroyed. We learn so slowly.