20 Jan 2016

Kauri protester wants to meet owner

5:26 pm on 20 January 2016

A man who staged a sit-in protest up a kauri in west Auckland says he hopes the property owner will agree to a restorative justice meeting.

Arborist Johno Smith pleaded guilty in the Waitakere District Court this morning to trespass.

The 32-year-old arborist spent nearly two weeks up the kauri in Titirangi last month, in an effort to stop it being cut down.

Johno Smith has spent a week in the kauri tree in protest at its possible felling.

Johno Smith has spent a week in the kauri tree in protest at its possible felling. Photo: RNZ / Tom Furley

An injunction to stop development on the site remains in place until an appeal against resource consent is heard next month.

He climbed down after it was ring-barked.

Smith said he hoped to meet with the owner ahead of his sentencing in March.

"He's never actually turned up to (the) site, he's never really contacted anyone in the community," Smith said.

"I would like to be able to express the reasons why I was there and the concerns that the community have with the way that he's gone about developing the site."

Johno Smith puts sphagnum moss over the cuts in the kauri tree.

Johno Smith puts sphagnum moss over the cuts in the kauri tree. Photo: RNZ / Tom Furley

Smith remains on bail until he is sentenced next month.

Efforts by local iwi members to patch up the ring-barking seemed to have worked, and the kauri was in good health, according to a neighbour, Winnie Charlesworth.

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