Radiata pine trees live for about 80 to 90 years and can grow to over 30 metres tall. As they age they grow bigger, of course, but are also more liable to lose branches in storms or simply collapse.
Someone may know how old the pine trees near the village entrance were, but there was a double risk: they could have brought down a power line, potentially cutting off all of Waikawa Beach, or they could have dropped branches or fallen across the road, cutting off all access.
On Monday 24 November 2020 Electra workers cut down the problem trees. Workers scaled the trees with ropes and with machinery and cut them down from top to bottom.
Movie: A large branch comes down.
As they worked, branches were fed into a chipper. After a couple of days work only stumps were left.
Movie: Large branches being fed into a chipper.
Perhaps the trees were planted around the 1940s. They were certainly a historic part of the early modern times of the European settlement at Waikawa Beach. See if you can spot them on this aerial photo from 1942.