Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Developer pleads guilty to tree charge

Developer pleads guilty to tree charge

George Bernard Shaw appeared in the Auckland District Court yesterday on a charge of destroying a scheduled pohutukawa tree and pleaded guilty.

In its submissions filed with the court, Auckland City Council referred to the aggravating circumstances of the offence including previous convictions for tree removal, Mr Shaw's commercial motivation and his efforts to escape detection.

In particular, Auckland City noted that Mr Shaw's guilty plea was a reversal of his earlier attitude, which was one of complete disregard for the damage that he had caused. Mr Shaw publicly denied any involvement and statements to this effect were published in media reports. He maintained this position until relatively recently when Auckland City disclosed the extent of its evidence against him.

The submissions acknowledged that Mr Shaw had recently made efforts to demonstrate remorse through a voluntary payment of $50,000 towards Auckland City's costs and a public apology made to the Planning and Regulatory Committee on Thursday 8 December.

Mr Shaw has now also agreed in principle to replanting a mature pohutukawa in a central position on the site. An enforcement order from the Environment Court will protect the tree.

Judge McElrea deferred sentencing until 13 February 2006 to allow time for a facilitated restorative justice process. The process is likely to include a meeting with those directly affected by the cutting down of the tree, so that Mr Shaw faces the victims of his offending. The meeting may occur at the Maungakiekie Community Board in February 2006. The public will be advised in January.

The attack on the tree at 21 Mount Smart Road, Royal Oak, took place on 24 January this year. Two men were seen leaping from a car and chopping the limbs from the tree at about 10.30am. The council had received an application to demolish buildings on the site in 2004 but the application had been put on hold because of concerns that work would be required within the dripline of the tree (the dripline is the area around the trunk where the primary feeder roots that carry nutrients are). Demolition went ahead regardless and the site was clear except for the tree.

The tree was notable for its size and beauty, reaching 11 metres in height, limbs over two metres in girth and a canopy spread of more than 20 metres. Annual growth rings on the cuts indicate that the tree is over 100 years old. The tree was scheduled in the council's District Plan, preventing works within its dripline and all but very minor hand pruning.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news