While the rest of us have been coming to grips with the repercussions of the Delta strain of Covid 19 there has been a lot of movement down in Forestry. For those based in Northland and haven’t visited for a while please brace yourself for quite a change.

Much of the foreshore around the public car parking area has been de-nuded with the removal of almost all the mature trees along the foreshore. There is to be native replanting, but it is clear that the values and benefits to the users of the area have been disregarded – there is little shade in the area and even fewer prominent trees for landmarks.

According to Auckland Council, this vegetation removal was by the private landowners as part of a comprehensive management plan prior to vesting Forestry access and the strip affronting the beach with as part of the Te Arai Regional Park.

Unfortunately all the negotiations/agreements and consents between the landowner and AC regarding this future public land have been behind closed doors with no input from the public. There has been no accommodation for a Community Liaison Group (as there was in the north) which means locals and visitors alike will only find out about any changes to these agreements after the fact and that AC will be responsible for keeping an eye on the developers of the vast area of private land which makes up the former Forestry pine block.

We can only hope that AC will now push forward with a Regional Park Management Plan that they have been stalling for years, much to the detriment of Te Arai North.

(c)Julia Wade