’Protected’ tree killed woman in storm

The tree on Arawa Street which came down in the storm, killing a woman in her car. - Photo: Google Maps

A tree which fell on a car in Rotorua yesterday and killed a woman was listed as a protected tree under the district council plan.

The woman died after the 150-year-old oak came down at about 10.45am at Arawa Street, near Amohia Street.

The Rotorua Lakes Council Acting Chief Executive Craig Tariana said in a statement yesterday that a local tree specialist had raised concerns about it in recent months.

As a result, the council had inspected the tree and bracing on it was replaced, and some branches were cut.

The tree is listed as a notable tree, and was planted in the early 1880s by Reverend Frederick Spencer.

Under the district’s plan, notable trees are recognised as being protected and as a result it restricts their removal or destruction, unless it poses a danger to human safety or is certified as dead.

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says it’s too early to speculate on the circumstances of the accident, but the council would cooperate with any investigation that takes place.

She says it’s now a police matter and the council had handed over relevant files to police.

"This is an absolute tragedy and our hearts and thoughts are with the family at this terrible time."

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Posted on 07-01-2018 21:34 | By roseh

Tauranga Council needs to take heed There is a protected tree next door to me that has already lost a huge branch Luckly it was in the middle of the night,as it went right across the road.So what happened along came an arborist and trimmed it and took a few other branches off.BUT TO ME IT SHOULD GO BEFORE SOMETHING HAPPENS.If any off it falls on anything of mine Trouble will be plenty


Posted on 07-01-2018 18:30 | By clingon

Anything that’s been out in the weather for 150 years and hasn’t been re-built needs some serious attention. Council quick to investigate builders with dodgy structures, check your own back yard first...

Charges need to be laid.

Posted on 07-01-2018 10:49 | By TheCameltoeKid

Rotorua Lakes Council and the Arborist that signed off the tree need to be charged with the Corporate Manslaughter law brought in after the Pike River tragedy. Anything less would be a travesty. Justice needs to be served here. A person has lost her life because of these incompetent people.

Culpable homocide?

Posted on 07-01-2018 10:26 | By Kaimai

How many other trees are in the same state? ie protected when they should be removed. Who is the arborist who inspected the tree and gave clearance? Who signed off the District Plan that included such a tree? Bugger a thorough investigation Steve Chadwick, action is needed before another person is killed - if people were held responsible for their actions or lack thereof this tragedy would not have occurred. Take note Tauranga City Councillors and staff.


Posted on 07-01-2018 09:38 | By Captain Sensible

Someone who made the decision that the tree stays, must be charged. It is their fault, and strong winds are not exactly something we didn’t know about.


Posted on 07-01-2018 09:00 | By Chookymac

Read this City Councilors and take heed.Have a good look around our City

Tree huggers

Posted on 06-01-2018 21:44 | By maildrop

Isn’t it ridiculous that an old unstable tree is protected until it kills somebody? If it was a building that was unstable it would be demolished. So why does a 150 year old tree get special status? Plant another one. Everything has an expiry date so why wait for a tree to fall? We don’t wait for buildings to fall on someone. Tree hugging environmentalist socialist idiots everywhere. Tragic.

Whats more important...

Posted on 06-01-2018 20:31 | By Peaches

A tree or a Human life, in my option if a tree is in a built up are such as CBD and needs bracing, then the tree needs to be removed and if need be a new one planted in it place.I feel so sad for the family, council take action and sort out all your trees, and make sure they are safe!!!