The felling of 200 pine trees at a central Auckland park has descended into a bitter dispute between residents and the council, with allegations of intimidation and abuse, Todd Niall of Stuff NZ reveals. Jim Stabback, who took on the role of Auckland Council Chief Executive in September 2020, acknowledged Western Springs Forest had been a “contentious project” and his view of it is similar to that of others inside the council that Stuff has spoken with.