The campaign by a Titirangi neighbourhood to prevent two landowners legally felling their own tree has got a boost after Auckland Mayoral candidate Phil Goff gave his support yesterday. It's time, I think, that all the declared Mayoral candidates give their position on the issue.
Both Goff from the left and Bright from the loony left have shown they support replacing proper legal process with mob rule, and that the invasion of private property by neighbourhood thugs and bullies is completely justified if it furthers their own causes. Mr. Goff has also stated that he is drafting a private members bill which will give greater protection to particular trees.
Essentially Mr. Goff is now using parliamentary resources to shore up his support in next year’s election which is completely inappropriate.
I am the only Auckland mayoral candidate to publicly support landowner’s Jon Lenihan and Jane Greensmith.
The Kauri tree is their property, and they have gone above and beyond their legal obligations to obtain permission to clear their own land. Whatever promises the protesters claim to have extracted when they prevented the tree’s felling back in March are irrelevant. There is no moral obligation to keep a promise extorted through coercion.
As of now, both centre-right candidates Mark Thomas and Victoria Crone have been silent about the kauri debacle.
Ms. Crone really ought to try expressing an opinion on something since her recent ‘no policy’ campaign launch.
And I’m sure the true blue ward of Orakei would be interested to hear their Local Board Deputy Chair’s view on whether private property rights are important to him.
Since the Kauri tree in question is not collectively owned, it's clear enough that the campaign by a group calling itself ‘Save Our Kauri’ is a total misnomer. It isn’t our kauri; nor is it their Kauri. The Kauri belongs to Lenihan and Greensmith. While other people are welcome to hold an opinion on the future of the tree they should not be permitted to invade the owner’s property and occupy their land.
It’s time the police stepped in to remove the illegal occupiers and allow the landowners to go about their legal business.
Stephen Berry is the Affordable Auckland mayoral candidate.