Published 14 October 2009
One city council has pulled back from a tree-pruning prosecution set in motion 8 months ago, because of the Government’s changes to legislation which took effect on 1 October.
Waitakere City Council’s lawyers said in their regulatory & enforcement report yesterday they were advised in February that native vegetation had been cut down on a Titirangi property, which was inside the managed natural area under the district plan.
Council staff sought the permission of owner Dr Lindsay Green to inspect the property, but said he refused them entry, so in March they obtained a search warrant. They noticed one native tree had been felled and a number of others heavily pruned.
In April, council staff took along an arborist & a surveyor for a second inspection, then produced a report saying one kanuka had been felled and 4 others heavily pruned, in breach of the district plan. They charged Dr Green in June.
However, on 28 September the charges were withdrawn and replaced with an infringement notice “due to the fact that the case was finely balanced on the facts and a prosecution would not provide a significant deterrent, given pending changes to the Resource Management Act, which would permit pruning without consent in the urban environment from 1 October”.
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Attribution: Council committee meeting & agenda, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.