…and there are millions of them all across New Zealand. All across the world! It’s not like we’re short of trees.
Piled up next to the ferry terminals in Wellington and Picton, and at the ports of Lyttleton and Auckland, are hundreds of thousands of logs (that used to be growing trees) waiting to be exported to other parts of the world to be sawn, drilled, bashed and pulped.
And there are plenty more ready to take their place when they’re chopped down. Trees do, after all, grow!
So what’s the big deal about the kauri tree in Titirangi, west of Auckland?
Well, it’s 500 years old. And it’s in the way of two new houses that have building consent. Auckland city council have sensibly given the landowners permission to cut down the tree and begin construction.
But the tree is 500 years old, I hear you cry. Yes, but just because it’s old it doesn’t mean that it’s special. Lots of things, when they get old, need moving or replacing. What about your clothes or cellphone? They get replaced after – what? – a year or two? And haircuts – and they’re alive – are chopped and changed…
Auckland, like many, many cities across the world, is facing a housing crisis. There are more people who need to live and work in major cities than there is adequate housing. And here we have a bizarre situation where the building of two much-needed homes is being delayed because of protests over just one tree.
Talking of old, let’s cast our minds back hundreds of years. Or to even more recent history. Or, in fact, to now. Houses are built of wood. Wood comes from trees. We need to chop down trees to build houses to live in…
So there is it. The ideal solution. Chop down the kauri tree in Titirangi. And use the wood to build two houses – the homes get built, people have somewhere to live, and the tree (kind of) gets to stay where it is. Perfect!
Article written by Ben Egerton
[colored_box color=”green”]This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry
amongst your students:[/colored_box]
[colored_box color=”yellow”]Critical Thinking Challenges:
1. It’s just one tree, but what is the bigger problem that cutting down the Titirangi kauri tree highlights?
2. If you were making the decision for Auckland council about the tree – but knew that more houses needed to be built – how would you decide and what action would you take?
3. Just because something is old, should it be valued?
[colored_box color=”green”]Practical Tasks:
1. A significant proportion of New Zealand’s exports are made up of wood and wood products. With a classmate, compile a list of everything you can think of that’s made with wood or wood products. Then go online or to the library and look up what wood is used for or in. Compare your lists. What did you get right? What are you surprised by?
2. The article above is in favour of cutting down the tree. Write an opinion article arguing that the tree should be saved.
[colored_box color=”red”]Have Your Say:
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