1 March 2018

About 300 pine trees that threaten historic buildings and power lines on Watts Peninsula, Miramar, are to be removed.

Land Information New Zealand, which currently manages the land is coordinating the work, which was scheduled to begin on Monday February 26. Warning signs will be in place and members of the public are advised to keep clear of the area due to the risk from the tree-felling work.

The work site is on the Shelly Bay side of the peninsula, well away from the old Mount Crawford prison.

Deputy Chief Executive Crown Property, Jerome Sheppard, says the peninsula has a number of significant archaeological sites, including military heritage sites dating from the 1890s, that are currently at risk from the overhanging pines. Some of the trees also threaten power lines.

"Removal of the pine trees is necessary to help protect these important historical sites and reduce the risk of damaging power lines in the area," he says.

Approval from Heritage New Zealand to undertake the work around the sites has been provided.

"Contractors will shortly begin work to fell and remove the trees safely, some of which will be sold for firewood, and the otherwise harvestable trees taken for export or for other uses."

Timber that cannot be removed effectively will be left in a safe position.

Cost of the work is about $100,000. The work will require specialist heavy logging equipment, but no major earthworks are required.

"This work is part of LINZ's ongoing mandate as caretakers for the land to maintain and keep it safe for future use," Mr Sheppard says.

Public access to the area is closed.

The bulk of the peninsula is intended to be turned into a public reserve, subject to Government funding approval.

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