Pine trees are OK, well, except that they give me terrible hayfever. But they’re not native to New Zealand, and we have an awful lot of them. [Side note: in 1990 I was in Canada for a week. Driving from Edmonton to Vancouver involved two days of pine forest!]
Wellington has hills, lots of hills. The hills are covered in houses and in trees, largely pine, but if not, then generally not native. We have tall pines near us at the top of Mt Victoria. I dream fondly of the day when they disappear to be replaced by NZ natives.
About two years ago we managed to be out of town when an extremely fierce storm swept through and blew down swathes of pines on the Tinakori Hills, up behind Parliament. For ages helicopters worked taking the dead trees away and the hills look pretty bare now, but it seems Project Crimson have teamed up with the City Council to replant the hills with Northern rata:
In 1841 the Tinakori Hills were set aside as place for recreation for Wellingtonians. …
Northern rata (Metrosideros robusta) are indigenous to the Wellington area and the plants destined for the Tinakori Hills come from seed sourced in the area.
Over the next five years we hope to build interest in and support for northern rata — a local hero — while restoring the vegetation on the Town Belt area. Residents will see 7,500 rata trees planted on these precious hills, which will deliver a beautiful crimson glow in the summer months.
That sounds like a good lot of native trees to me! Well done Project Crimson and the City Council!