Community 'irate' as native saplings destroyed by contractors

4:33 pm on 8 November 2017

Hundreds of native trees planted by volunteers in Christchurch are being destroyed by over-zealous council contractors armed with weed whackers.

Damage caused by contractors to tōtara planted in Ernle Clark Reserve.

Damage caused by contractors to tōtara planted in Ernle Clark Reserve. Photo: Supplied

The problem was brought to the attention of a Christchurch City Council committee on Wednesday by a volunteer tree planter on behalf of seven community groups.

Alice Shanks has documented dozens of cases of recently planted native saplings in reserves throughout the city being decimated by private companies hired by the council to maintain them.

She said the hours of good work being done by the community were being undone.

School children planting native seedlings in Ernle Clark Reserve.

School children planting native seedlings in Ernle Clark Reserve. Photo: Supplied

"The community groups are getting very irate about this.

"It's very frustrating to have this going on.

"We've all complained to the parks staff and they are very sympathetic but they don't seem to be able to do anything about it."

The council has ordered an urgent report on the matter.

The same area after contractors have been through.

The same area after contractors have been through. Photo: Supplied