Oh what the heck; I can't resist a good argument.
I retracted my first post and removed three paragraphs to reduce size Roy. Same content - less words. Better.
I can't comment about the tree in question...yet, give me an address or location Roy, I'll dig out the file and see what deal we were able to leverage against the developer, there is a huge cost to private property owners when the remove protected trees, even on their own land. We get lots of money out of them to replant dozens more trees in better sites...providing for the future residents.
Regarding apartments & other issues you mention; we are trying to manage rampant growth and pressure from property owners to develop their land further, we cannot stop people moving here to live Roy, we cannot erect fences & say "no more residents in our town thank-you, go away". All we can do is manage growth as best we can. Apartments are a legitimate way to slow land encroachment and reduce ecological footprint. Frankly I despair over some key planning decisions made in the late 1970's allowing them to be built where they are now, we can blame our parents generation for their lack of foresight on this issue but that won't solve anything in 2005.
In reply to your reef-related comments...
1) The chief reporter of our local paper has all sorts of people attempting to lobby him, he, being a responsible journalist has to qualify what he writes in his articles or risk losing credibility for his newspaper; I suspect he was only interested in comments from those with (in his readership's eye) a vested economic interest in the Reef project. Surf shop owners, local Hoteliers and the like. That stuff makes interesting reading - not mis-informed ramblings. That's what the Web is for eh Roy?
2) There was extensive public consultation for the reef; this lasted 8 months informally at public meetings for starters, then the Reef Trust interviewed those whose houses directly front onto the beach at Tay Street, then other sporting clubs (divers, canoeists, lifesaving, fishing clubs etc) even guests staying at the Motels & Hotels nearby were canvassed. After that came the formal Resource consultation the government requires by law, this was open to the whole community. There were 1641 written submissions received on the project, of these around 30 were opposed (some were a little vague, ranting and hard to grasp). Each objection was worked through and considered by an independent planner. There was only one major group opposed to the reef (Mount Reef Apartments) the Council asked their particular and quite valid objection be taken to the High Court and tested under existing case-law. This was done & took 18 months to complete, the Council meanwhile held up the whole project in the interim to ensure this was done properly. In his positive judgment for the reef Judge Hansen commented on how through the whole consultation process had been.
You had the chance to offer your comments/opinions when it really mattered Roy and chose not to. What's the point in complaining about it almost three years later?
3) There is no such thing as a "perfect wave" that's subjective. We each have our own definitions just like skateboarders who's idea of a "perfect" skatepark varies considerably. The designer of an artificial reef can only cater for the biggest majority of users and the most common type of surfing being "done" at this point in our sports history. Take a skatepark as an example, one designed in 1980 looks completely different from a modern one. Sports morph & change Roy. You can only cater for the now…or your facility will be an expensive & underused white elephant…I believe they've made the best judgement and designed a reef that will be a good wave for an average/good surfer under rare perfect conditions. Other times it'll just be a good fun wave with a consistent takeoff for everybody who chooses to use it.
4) Council has no direct link with this project other than donating 300K in 2001 to get the project underway. The expected positive impact for the greater community warranted financial support. As I posted earlier it's below the mean high-tide line and therefore legally out of Council jurisdiction, they have no interest in deeds of use, rules, contest formats or frequency.
5) Part of the deal is when done the Council will recieve new public toilets with external fresh water showers and screened changing areas, several new public BBQ's on the grass reserve, further boardwalk extensions, a badly needed pedestrian crossing on that stretch of road among other things, in the same manner I mentioned above regarding the now removed tree.…you'll obviously not use any of these facilities out of principle eh Roy?
6) This reef will be an interesting science project and one we're lucky enough to have happening right on our doorstep, it might work perfectly…it might end up a complete flop…who knows. it is however clearly written into the five year resource consent that if the reef fails or does not comply with terms set by the Environment Court, if it adversely affects the coastline, local residents, businesses or the greater community the textile bags will be opened, the sand dispersed and the reef removed.
From everybody's point of view, from qualified environmental & geotechnical engineers, marine biologists, hoteliers, the police, corner dairy owners right through to middle-aged women surfers it's a cool thing worth trying.
If you're interested in seeing this project people, go to www.mountreef.co.nz
Make up your own minds.
Roy I'll await the address details so I can report fact rather than fiction regarding that tree.