Nga Puna says they are aware of the tree
cutting process in Avarua, adding “safety” for the public, especially road
users, is the reason behind this move.
“In these cases, we encourage replanting
elsewhere to replace removed trees,” he said.
However a concerned Rarotonga resident, who is
an advocate for indigenous plants, said trees planted on Avarua Township median
strip has never been a problem “if you are driving properly and within the
limits of the law”.
The trees required to be removed are – a
kauariki (tropical almond) tree and three toa (ironwood) trees.
“There are hardly any big trees in there! What
is this fear of big trees? Keep them groomed and you won’t have a problem –
ahh, that’s right, government departments don’t want to do constant
maintenance!” the concerned person said.
“What is that? Better to get rid of the tree
altogether - no leaves to clean up, no roots to disturb the ground and trip up
an unwary tourist”.
Trees to be cut and removed from Avarua median strip – Ara Maire Nui. CIIC/21033036
Opposition Environment spokesperson MP Selina Napa earlier said removal of trees was increasingly concerning.
Napa was disappointed about a lack of
community consultation and urged the National Environment Service to get
involved to avoid such activities.
A public notice was put out by the Environment
Service yesterday advising that prior to any work or any activity carried out
within any of these areas – wetlands, sloping land, foreshore and streams
(Sections 50 & 58 Environment Act 2003) the general public including
private and public contractors must contact the National Environment Service
for further advice before commencing work.