Media release

Special trees to be replaced for University of Otago Memorial Garden

Wednesday 3 October 2018

As work was underway on the Leith Flood Protection Scheme, five trees were removed from an area near the ITS Building on the University of Otago’s Dunedin campus. The trees were passed onto a local nursery for safe keeping while the work was being done, but sadly four of the trees did not survive.

Two of the trees were memorial trees; a Kauri, dedicated to prominent New Zealand poet and literary figure Charles Brasch, which was planted in 1976, and a Mountain Beech planted in 2004 for Dr Robin Law of the Geography Department, who joined the University of Otago in 1994 and sadly passed away in 2003.

The Otago Regional Council has apologised to the University and to friends and associates of Charles Brasch and Dr Robin Law and expressed its sympathy for the actions that led to the death of the memorial trees.

Council staff sincerely regret any distress this loss has caused.

ORC Chief Executive, Sarah Gardner said, “The Otago Regional Council wishes to acknowledge the significance of both the memorials and the work of Charles Brasch and Dr Robin Law, to whom the trees were dedicated.”

She said, “The Flood Protection Scheme is intended to improve the surroundings to the Water of Leith and the University of Otago’s future Memorial Garden is a part of that work. It is our hope that by replacing trees of the same size and species, and perhaps repurposing the wood of the former trees into a feature or sculpture, that we can contribute to the University’s goal of creating a contemplative and shady garden that can be enjoyed by all members of staff and students for years to come.”

Sarah Gardner – ORC Chief Executive - 0276127896

Emma Schranz – ORC Senior Media Advisor - 0276275894