Police on site as Auckland protesters face off against contractors wanting to fell native trees

Police are facing off against a group of protesters desperately trying to stop a number of native trees being felled in Auckland.

Tuesday marks the 245th day protesters have sat in or chained themselves to the trees on Canal Rd in Avondale. Police are on site as contractors move in to fell the remaining native trees.

Several protesters have been arrested.

Activist and former Green party candidate Steve Abel told RNZ some protestors were detained by police after climbing into the site to try stop the felling of trees.

In a statement to Newshub police said they are "aware" of the ongoing protest on the private property, and have been engaging with both the property owners and protesters for "many months".

"Our role is to ensure the property owner can exercise their rights while also ensuring the protesters are able to exercise their rights to protest peacefully."

However the protesters won't go down easy - a spokesperson for the Save Canal Rd Native Trees group said they have "constructed an intricate network of ropes and platforms with permanent sleeping facilities to thwart contractors from felling the trees".

The group has occupied the privately owned land since July 2020 when protesters learned 100-year-old native trees would be cut down to make way for housing.