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Thursday, 26 October, 2000, 19:17 GMT 20:17 UK
One Tree Hill loses its tree
One Tree Hill
Some considered the tree a symbol of colonialism
New Zealand's celebrated One Tree Hill, immortalised in a song by the rock band U2, has lost its tree.

Officials decided to chop down Auckland's most famous landmark after two chainsaw attacks, thought to be the work of Maori activists, left it listing dangerously.

One Tree Hill
The pine was removed by helicopter
The Monterey pine was planted in the 1870s to replace a lone totara, a native tree sacred to local Maoris, which a white settler had hacked down for firewood.

Some Maoris - New Zealand's indigenous people - considered the pine a symbol of colonialism.

In 1994 Maori activist Mike Smith achieved national fame when he carried out a night-time chainsaw attack on the tree.

He was pulled off it before the tree fell and efforts were launched to save it.

U2 song

But another attack last year left it unable to support its own weight.

The pine, celebrated in the song One Tree Hill from Irish rock band U2's 1987 album The Joshua Tree, was removed by helicopter.

Residents from Auckland gathered on the volcanic hill to watch as the tree came down.

Auckland Mayor, Christine Fletcher, said: "I felt pretty sentimental - it is the repository of many of our memories."

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26 Nov 99 | Asia-Pacific
Politicians woo the Maori
02 Sep 99 | Asia-Pacific
Maori battle for equal rights
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