The first flourish of blazing red flowers is being noticed in Auckland’s Quay Street pōhutukawa, ushering in the first week of Auckland’s Alert Level 3, step 2.
Three years ago, seven 40-year-old pōhutukawa were uplifted from Quay Street, keeping them safe from harm in Teal Park away from large-scale construction on the waterfront site.
During the trees’ absence, the seawall was seismically re-engineered and rebuilt and five other significant projects were delivered by Auckland Council and Auckland Transport.
Returning to the re-designed Quay Street one by one in crane operations managed by crews through the night to minimise disruption, residents from the neighbourhood would wake up each morning to see rain gardens and groves had been planted with yet another large pōhutukawa or puriri.
Councillor Pippa Coom says the distinctive red flowers were a quintessential symbol of summer.
“I’m thrilled to see we have our first blooms after the investment we made in saving these trees and returning them to their home on the waterfront. After a tough lockdown I’m hoping Aucklanders are able to revisit our beautiful waterfront and sit under the shade of one of these majestic trees. A tūi might even join you,” she said.
Auckland Council Senior Advisor Urban Forest, Howell Davies, said: “These beautiful trees will continue to provide ongoing benefits of shade, support well-being, attract birds, and absorb carbon for many generations to come. That’s the beauty of trees.”
Quay Street residents and businesses will now witness the red flowers of a New Zealand summer adorn their street as Aucklanders return to the city.