UPDATE: THIS CAMPAIGN HAS NOW BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL FRIDAY 26 FEBRUARY
As if Christchurch author Helen Lowe didn’t have enough on her plate with Book 3 of her major fantasy series being published and coping with recurring Canterbury earthquakes, she is among a group of Christchurch citizens trying to save the city’s notable and heritage trees. Right now, that group is trying to raise money to meet the costs of being represented before an Expert Hearing Panel. I know all too well how expensive and difficult it is for citizens to take part in such processes, and I have donated because I think this is an excellent cause to support. I hope you’ll think likewise.
Spokesperson Andrew Robins said:
As if earthquakes are not enough, a small, committed group of citizens are having to try and save over 80% of Christchurch’s scheduled Heritage and Notable trees from being delisted and losing any protection in the Christchurch Plan. There has been no public consultation on this proposal, and the Plan and Hearing process is being fast-tracked under Earthquake Recovery legislation and with only very limited right of appeal (on points of law only [not fact], to the High Court).
So they only have this one chance to save these special trees — but although they have the Council back-peddling on their original plan, the trees aren’t saved yet. Because it’s not the Council that makes the decision.
All decision making lies with an Independent Hearing Panel. And to convince the Hearing Panel the group have had to present high-level expert evidence — and still have to present the legal submissions that their case is sound. As you can imagine, this has all taken a huge amount of time and cost a great deal of money — and the Panel may well require more input from the experts. To help fund raise, so they can keep speaking for Christchurch’s (Notable) trees for as long as it takes, the group have set up a Give A Little page:
Saving Christchurch’s Heritage and Notable Trees
I hope you’ll take time to check it out and give as generously as you can.
Christchurch has lost so much of value over the past five years, that the loss of protection for so many significant trees feels like one more body blow in Christchurch’s post-earthquake “geography of loss.”
Please share this post and the Give a Little link with as many people as possible. Christchurch’s Heritage and Notable trees really need their help, too.
You can find more information on the blog of author Helen Lowe, who is supporting the campaign:
Post 1: It’s Book Release Week, And That’s Important — But So Is Speaking For The Trees
Post 2: Speaking for the Trees: Update 1
Post 3: Meet The Trees — Some of Christchurch’s Most Significant Trees Still Really Need Your Help