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Activists celebrate after WorkSafe halts tree-felling at contentious Auckland site

Activists are celebrating this morning after WorkSafe put a temporary halt on the felling of several large native trees on a developer's land in Avondale, Auckland.

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Green Party candidate Steve Abel spoke with Breakfast about the value of the trees growing on Canal Road. Source: Breakfast

Protests have taken place at the site on Canal Road for a number of weeks after the owners of the land began cutting down a stand of mature native trees.

Arborist Zane Wedding appeared on Breakfast yesterday morning, where he said a number of approved code of practice violations had taken place on the site.

WorkSafe then attended the site yesterday afternoon and put a temporary halt on any more work taking place there until work safety was properly considered.

A spokesperson from WorkSafe said they were notified of concerns about work activity and safety at the site on July 21.

"The scene was attended and WorkSafe issued an improvement notice to the arborist working on the site.

"An improvement notice was also issued to a second party involved in the site.

"These notices related to securing the area of work and ensuring safe practices and risk management for tree felling.

"A prohibition notice has also been issued prohibiting all tree felling or arboriculture work at 52-58 Canal Road until evidence of appropriate controls and proof of competency of the engaged arborist are supplied to WorkSafe."

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Zane Wedding says not only are people cutting down many mature trees needlessly, they’re also doing it dangerously. Source: Breakfast

Mr Wedding called on the Government to reinstate blanket protection on Auckland's urban trees, which was taken away for cost-saving reasons in 2012 Resource Management Act reforms.

Speaking this morning to Breakfast, activist and Green Party candidate Steve Abel called on Auckland Council to "acquire" the land so that the trees can be preserved.

Mr Abel said the temporary halt put in place by WorkSafe was just that - temporary - and sooner or later the chainsaws will be back.

Watch the full interview above.