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Chopping a tree to see the sea brings $4,000 fine

Chopping a tree to see the sea brings $4,000 fine
August 22, 2005

A company director has pleaded guilty to having a coastal pohutukawa tree chopped in an attempt to obtain a sea view.

Daryl Devereux was fined $4,000 after being charged under the Resource Management Act 1991 for having a protected tree topped without consent. Mr Devereux had employed a contractor to cut a number of trees near his Takapuna property and had the pohutukawa reduced by six metres in height resulting in the permanent loss of its natural shape and form. In sentencing last week, Judge McElrea indicated that the fine would have been $6,000 if the culprit had not been willing to accept an enforcement order requiring remedial work to be carried out on the tree over the next six years for which Mr Devereux will have to pay.

North Shore City Council's compliance and monitoring team leader, David Frith, has called for public support in protecting native trees.

"We appreciate the help of a member of the public who alerted council staff to the illegal tree cutting. The assistance of the public is vital to help protect and retain coastal trees. The cutting of protected trees without consent is not acceptable and leaves the offender liable to severe penalties as well as a possible conviction," says Mr Frith.

To find out more about rules relating to trees on either public or private land, please contact Actionline on 486 8600.

ENDS

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