They are tearing down the trees in the park today. The
cannonade of chainsaws started up, or so it seemed,
at dawn; a couple of pines on the northern slope never
had a chance, and were cut down where they stood.
Then the truck from the Tree Unit came. The Tree Unit!
Just as a foot-soldier in Napoleon’s army might
sometimes have glimpsed the heave and sway of great
forces that he could barely comprehend, far beyond his
small role in human affairs, so I sense the imperious
power of the Wellington City Council’s parks & gardens
department. It brooks no obstacle in its remorseless
workings. The Tree Unit truck turned out to contain, in
its abdomen, a mulching machine into which men in
bright helmets have been feeding oblations of foliage;
the machine—provided, no doubt, by the unit’s branch
office—has fed hungrily and noisily but now, for the
moment, at midday, seems to have satisfied its appetite.
Where the pines were is a pile of chunky logs as crisp and
fresh as a newly baked batch of biscuits. There is more
light in the park now. The men in helmets have regrouped
for lunch. The winter campaign rolls on.