Lower Hutt property


PHOTO: OPEN TO VIEW The property covers 2.01ha, most of which is covered in native bush.

Stuart Reid has a theory. If all the people vacated New Zealand, within about 30 years the native bush would have recovered and completely reclaimed this country.

Reid has a good reason to suggest such a scenario. He bought a barren piece of land on the hills above Lower Hutt 34 years ago. Some baby pine trees were removed and native plants added. But Reid didn’t expect the native bush to completely regenerate, yet that’s what happened.

“We have never planted a punga, but look at them all,’ he says. “They are everywhere. By year 15, nature starts taking over with birds spreading seeds and wind-blown flax. There’s a reserve next to us that has been completely untended, but the native bush came up underneath the gorse and took over. It’s ironic, considering it has never had any attention.”