Protester arrested after climbing tree

A protester has been arrested after climbing a tall Norfolk pine at a beach north of Auckland.

He was trying to protect the old tree from being chopped down.

From his posse high in the air, arborist Charlie Cottrell-Jury told Newshub it was a tree that must be protected.

"This tree is 150 years old. It's a piece of our history," he said.

"These kind of giants we don't have a lot of them in our country... we've lost a lot of our big trees."

He climbed up on Thursday morning after locals heard the 40-metre Norfolk pine was about to get the chop.

"It's murder," one fuming resident called it.

"I know it sounds crazy but that's the emotion I had."

Duncan Morison used to own the land the tree is on.

He sold it to a developer and says the plan is for houses to be built on the site.

Mr Morison believes cutting down the tree was never a part of original plans.

"There's no genuine reason for bringing the tree down. It's deemed to be healthy, in a good state of health. Why destroy something that's taken 150 years to get there?"

Auckland Council says consent to cut it down has been granted.

Residents say the tree was gifted to Snells Beach by Sir George Grey - a New Zealand Governor. They say that while they understand the developer has consent to cut it down, they hope the arguments put forward by the community are heard.

However, news doesn't seem to be in favour of the residents.

Charlie Cottrell-Jury has been arrested, and workers have ring-barked the tree in preparation to cut it down.

Newshub has contacted the developer for comment.


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