Media release: Public consultation commences on updating of South Wairarapa Notable Trees Register

20 March 2019

Three hundred and thirty-one trees, or groups of trees, have been identified as worthy of protection in the updated Register for Notable Trees for the South Wairarapa District (Appendix 1.4 of the District Plan).  

The Register includes details of trees on public and private land, including parks and road reserves and 67 urban and 29 rural properties. The Register is being updated for the first time since 2011 to take into account trees that no longer exist and expert thinking on what makes a tree notable.

SWDC Group Manager Planning and Environment Russell O’Leary says, “this public consultation is the culmination of a lot of work by Council and a tree expert to bring the Register up-to-date with the trees currently in existence and current methodology to evaluate trees.”

Trees have been assessed using the Standard Tree Evaluation Method (STEMTM) methodology, developed in New Zealand in 1996 and used by more than 35 councils around the country.

As the first town in New Zealand to celebrate Arbor Day, it is perhaps not surprising that the Greytown ward has the largest number of protected trees, making up approximately half of the total in the district.

“South Wairarapa is a region blessed with trees of significance to our cultural heritage and the environment. We’re really keen to hear from people on whether we have the right trees on the list for protection purposes.”

“There are 80 different types of trees on the list, a mixture of native and exotic species including European, North American and those of Mediterranean origins.

“Any proposed work to trees on the register would require a resource consent along with council-approved arborist advice before trimming, unless it’s to remove dead, diseased or broken branches; branches that are physically touching a building or power line; or for minor trimming necessary to maintain the health of the tree” says Mr. O’Leary

South Wairarapa residents with one or more protected trees (or part of, i.e. roots or branches) on their property, will receive a letter in the mail. The updated Register, along with STEM assessments of all the trees on the Register, are available on the Council website at swdc.govt.nz/notable-trees. Information and submission forms are also available in libraries and service centres in the district.

The public consultation period for the updated Register for Notable Trees closes at 4.30pm on 18 April.

ENDS

Media contact

Amy Wharram

Communications Manager

0217 252 2863

South Wairarapa District Council