CPBS has been advocating to council and the community for better management of Centennial Park for more that 40 years.
In 1976 a group of people formed the Centennial Park Bush Society in response to council clearing an area of “scrub”. What the council did not appreciate was that this scrub was the beginnings of a new native forest. The manuka they were felling was the nursery for young totara, kauri, rimu and kahikatea which now, 30 years later are bursting through the manuka canopy. Many of these forest giants were planted and nurtured by the Bush Society. But planting is only the icing on the cake when it comes to restoring an area of bush. The bush was full of self sown pine trees, which volunteers ring barked, causing them to slowly die back and give space to the native bush which could not compete. This work was initiated by Professor John Morton and his wife Pat. John Morton was a professor of zoology, national president of Forest and Bird and was instrumental in saving Whirinaki Forest, Waitutu forest and the West Coast Beech forests. He should know what he is talking about. Now where once was a pine forest, is healthy emergent native bush.
The Bush Society has taken an active role in the development of the park management plan. This has put the Society at odds with some locals who differ in their ideas around weed trees in particular. This resulted in a prolonged battle with in 2008-2010 culminating in the current Centennial Park Management Plan which can be viewed here.