King Street of Pukekohe used to be known for it’s delightful cherry blossom trees that gave the township a hint of colour during spring time and were beloved by the towns folk.
The 15 year old trees brought a type of atmosphere that gave Pukekohe a small town country feel, that was until the beloved cherry trees were turned to mulch under the cover of darkness in August 2000.
Mayor Heather Maloney and the Franklin District Council were inundated with complaints via the local paper at the time and the feeling that the people of Franklin were not consulted was the main issue.
Many people were shocked and confused on why this had happen. Council spokesman Ken Dyer said the council had warned people for a year and a group of 300 were involved with the consultation campaign. The population of Pukekohe in 2001 was 18,825.
Some shop owners were happy to see the trees go because of the mess they made when shed their petals.
Now in the spring of 2015, memories of those days seem to come flooding back with what I saw today down at Pukekohe’s town square. You can rely on mother nature to bring a bit of life back to our main street.
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Photo credit of blossom time – Rosita Manning 1995