The group protecting an ancient West Auckland kauri tree say it was attacked early on Wednesday morning.
The Titirangi tree, which experts say is impossible to age accurately but could be up to 600 years old, was at the centre of a protest in March after it and a 300-year-old rimu were about to be felled to make way for two houses.
On December 11 at dawn, protester and arborist Johno Smith climbed into the canopy of the ancient kauri on Paturoa Rd after attempts were again made to chop it down. He has remained there ever since.
But early on Wednesday, Smith reported noise below and saw eight people, who he believed were security guards, cutting the tree with chainsaws while he was still in it.
The Save our Kauri group said neighbours tried to stop the men but were too late to stop them ring barking the tree.
Save our Kauri spokeswoman Aprilanne Bonar said it was a vengeful action and the perpetrators needed to be “brought to justice”.
The three belongs to the owners. They have permission from the Council to fell it. So long as the ring barking was agreed to by the owners, the only people who need to be brought to justice as the trespassers.
If they want to save the tree, they should but the land it is on.
But anyway do you note how the tree is now magically up to 600 years old. Previously they only claimed it was 500 years old. But actually Auckland Council has said several arborists have said it is 150 to 200 years old – making it no different to probably tens of thousands of trees.
The media just report the claims of 600 without scrutiny.