Holy guacamole: Plans to remove avocado tree in Tauranga spark heated debate

The owners of a residential inner-city property in Tauranga intending to subdivide, and in the process remove an established avocado tree, have been criticised during an impassioned council meeting today.

Source: 1 NEWS

Residents who live on the street spoke today about the plans and the impact on the environment and parking if the plan was to go ahead.

The tree is situated on 13th Avenue, near St Mary's Catholic School.

Owners of the property plan to build two separate houses on the property and require two driveways to suit the current design, and in the process made an application to remove a 30-year-old avocado tree.

But in written letters to the council residents were in "disbelief" that the tree would be removed.

"It appears to be 'Groundhog Day' again when it comes to the landscape of this city," one read.

One resident said over 96 per cent of feedback received was opposed to the tree's removal.

Others mentioned the benefits of the tree including shade and fruit it provided for the community.

"The avocado tree is in keeping with site and scale and surrounding with its setting in the established, maturing surround in mulch and much cherished residential neighbourhood - St Mary's."

In today's council meeting, the owners and developers of the site said the fruit only benefited "rats and seagulls", as well as teenagers who were able to scale the tree who "strip" it and sell the fruit for "substantial profit" in Otumoetai.

The owners of the property told the council 12 residents supported the removal of the tree.

However councillor Heidi Hughes moved to decline the application which was seconded by Jako Abrie.

But the motion was lost and the tree will be removed, and replaced with three trees.