Auckland City officials have been forced into revealing that a new tree will be planted today on One Tree Hill, now known locally as None Tree Hill.
Official Information documents obtained by Kiwiboomers confirm secret negotiations in which Maori have agreed to overlook the actions of a 19th century Onehunga resident who chopped down the hilltop's totara to build his house. (A historical footnote in the papers quoted him as saying 'it wasn't doing much good just bloody standing there').
To demonstrate the responsive potential of Auckland as it moves towards becoming New Zealand's first Super City, City Councillors also agreed to bury the hatchet over the felling by Maori of the hill's iconic pine tree. The papers show that ACT leader Rodney Hide is to turn the first sod - some opponents noting that this was 'entirely appropriate' since he had already buried Auckland. Other community leaders agree with Hide's demand that the Market should be allowed to choose the type of tree.
The papers also indicate continuing tensions between the Maori Party and ACT. The documents reveal that Maori party co-leader Pita Sharples called for a kauri to be planted alongside any exotic tree to illustrate the city's bi-culturalism. However National Party negotiators reminded him it hadn't been called One Tree Hill all these years for nothing. The Maori Party has taken this as a slight, with Sharples pointing out that hill's name had been Maungakiekie 'eons' before Pakeha arrived. It now appears possible that the Party is reserving the right to plant its own tree.
Regardless of arboreal tensions, the tree should be planted at dawn fide gets his way he will plant a Market forces tree or trees if Maori get theirs, is now scheduled. Hide will plant the Market Forces tree on April 1 next year, Maori leaders when they get around to agreeing on a date.