Wellington Scoop

Where’s the chainsaw?

by Neil Douglas
The pace of Henry and Harriet may be slowing but it’s still quicker than our city council and the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) move at!

Just how long does it take to clear a fallen tree? That’s what Scoop Dogs Henry and Harriet have been pondering. The tree had been leaning for ages and finally collapsed two weeks ago and lies stricken over the walkway next to the Thorndon Motorway between Hill Street and Hawkestone Street.


Somebody official has put some danger ribbon either side to stop people bumping into it as it is right next to a set of steps that are poorly lit at night. It means you can’t use the walkway unless you ignore the signs and clamber over the trunks and branches which isn’t so easy for four-legged Henry and Harriet.

After clambering around the tree two weeks ago, we went off to the Wairarapa to plant some trees of our own. We came back to find the danger ribbon still fluttering and the trunk and branches still obstructing the pathway.


My guess is that a chainsaw gang could clear it up in a morning. So why the delay? Maybe WCC and NZTA are arguing who is responsible or perhaps they have employed some consultants to ‘work through the options’ or maybe WREDA is wining and dining some international logging companies?

We noted NZTA has had no problem clearing the rosemary, rambling roses and sycamore saplings and spraying glyphosate to kill the hebe bushes along the walkway nearby so surely they could remove one fallen tree?

On Monday school holidays end and term begins again. School children and parents will find their walkway to St Mary’s and Sacred Heart schools blocked off.

So come on WCC or NZTA … get it sorted! There are loads of Wellington tree contractors out there who’d clear the path in a jiffy.

Neil Douglas is a Wellington based economist and Wairarapa nut farmer

UPDATE July 23



  1. Matthew, 21. July 2018, 19:05

    Hear hear. I walk down this path most weeks – it’s my regular ‘walking meeting’ circuit.

  2. Cr Chris Calvi-Freeman, 21. July 2018, 19:18

    Have you raised this with WCC and NZTA, Neil? I’m doing so now.

  3. Neil Douglas, 21. July 2018, 21:54

    Thanks Chris, Hope you can get it sorted.

  4. Cr Chris Calvi-Freeman, 21. July 2018, 22:29

    Apparently it’s with NZTA. I’m chasing up.

  5. Wellington City Council, 22. July 2018, 4:18

    We went out and assessed on 13 July & due to location the trees are the responsibility of NZTA Wgtn to remove. (Via twitter.)

  6. Cr Chris Calvi-Freeman, 22. July 2018, 4:26

    Has NZTA Wgtn acknowledged responsibility and provided a timeframe? (Via twitter).

  7. Barbs, 22. July 2018, 8:58

    So many people have complained to me about the obstruction because it is their walkway to work from the other side of Tinakori Rd. The branches could blow onto the motorway as well. Please get it sorted!

  8. Dr Feelgood, 22. July 2018, 14:09

    These Scoop Dogs are brilliant! I hope their path is clear again soon! 🙂

  9. Piglet, 23. July 2018, 8:01

    I will check it every day for you Scoop dogs. Glad to see you back again.

  10. Piglet, 23. July 2018, 19:28

    ScoopDogs. It has been cleared. Thank you NZTA and ScoopDogs.

  11. Ellie, 26. July 2018, 11:11

    Spraying glycophosphate!

    Glycophosphate has to go, that is not an acceptable chemical to spry on walking tracks.

  12. Neil Douglas, 26. July 2018, 13:41

    There is another tree, an even taller one, that looks ready to tumble in a wind. It’s leaning against a smaller tree. One big gust and it might fall towards the walkway and the motorway. It needs looking at!

  13. Piglet, 26. July 2018, 14:09

    Neil. I have rung NZTA and they are on to it. Thank you for pointing that out.