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Better views, hoping for less rubbish

Makorori Beach reserve's pohutukawa trees are being pruned of their lower branches, to improve sea views and provide more shaded spaces for beachgoers.

Gisborne District Council also hopes the undertaking might help curb rubbish dumping, illegal camping, and the slaughtering of stolen livestock — longstanding problems often hidden by the trees' thick lower canopies.

The council's liveable spaces manager De-Arne Sutherland says the aim is to transform the trees from large shrub-like forms into more beautiful specimen trees and improve their overall amenity value. She is pleased with the results so far.

The work is being done as part of the Kaitiaki O Te Whenua Project — one of five projects under the Tairawhiti Economic Support Package Redeployment Programme, which was established in response to the impacts of Covid-19 with funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The funding is administered by the Provincial Development Unit, and managed by the council.

To date, it has provided work and training for 236 people.

The Kaitiaki O Te Whenua Project involves $1.15m and has included work on Titirangi, at Uawa, the Kopututea dunes along the city beach, plant pest removal, a park tree maintenance and planting programme, and other support for the council's existing parks and reserves programme.

This recent work at the city's beach reserve areas has provided an additional four weeks employment for 12 staff who are also receiving training in tree maintenance and hazardous tree work.

Work at Makorori Beach began last week, with trees at Okitu and other reserves also scheduled for pruning this month, Ms Sutherland says.

Solid waste exposed by the pruning will be removed by the Council's waste management contractor.

Asked whether the council intends to install cameras within Makorori Beach reserve to further curb illegal activities, Ms Sutherland said no.

In April, 2014, the council announced it was trialling cameras at specific trouble spots for illegal rubbish dumping.

Figures for the period from July 2018 to December 23 last year, show 42 infringement notices were issued to offenders who were dealt penalties totalling $12,000.

Of those, 24 infringements with penalties totalling $8400, were unpaid and filed with the Court.

The council has since advised the cameras are no longer fit for purpose but new ones are being priced.

BETTER VIEWS: Pohutukawa trees at Makorori are being pruned to improve sea views and tackle rubbish dumping issues. Picture by Sarah Curtis
QUITE A MESS: Low-hanging branches pruned back on pohutukawa trees along Makorori Beach helped improve the sea views, and provide more shade for beachgoers. But in doing so it also revealed, among other things, this abandoned campsite detritus under the overgrown trees. Gisborne District Council liveable spaces manager De-Arne Sutherland said there would be a clean-up to remove all the solid waste exposed by the pruning. 'Greater visibility through the trees should also help to prevent further dumping along these areas,' she said. More trees along Okitu and other reserves are scheduled for pruning this month. Pictures by Sarah Curtis
Dumped: Old duvets and pillows are among the sorts of rubbish dumped under trees at Makorori. It is hoped pruning of the lower branches of the pohutukawa will discourage such pollution.