Tree wars have erupted in Auckland's iconic Western Springs, with residents accusing Auckland Council of flouting its own resource consent process.
The council has ordered residents to evacuate so they can cut down at-risk trees, despite their application to do so still pending approval.
The pine trees have towered over Western Springs for 90 years, but according to Auckland Council, their time is up.
The council's application to cut down 200 trees on the block is currently being considered by commissioners, who have asked for more information regarding the potential ecological damage.
So residents were confused and angered when last week they got a letter notifying them the trees were being cut down and they needed to leave the premises.
Auckland Council says following a recent inspection, the 13 trees were found to be presenting a very real stability risk, so the council was forced to act immediately to protect the residents and their properties.
But residents say that's an excuse and the council is abusing its power.
"If I felt in danger I would remove my children very quickly," one local told Newshub.
"It's just a trumped up reason for them to be able to march in here and clear-fell these trees," another resident said.
Auckland Councillor Mike Lee has spoken out in support of the residents, urging the council to cease and desist with the felling.
But some residents won't be leaving home and locals will be there in support willing to stand strong so the trees can continue to as well.