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Pohutukawa Pruner $30,000 Poorer

Pohutukawa Pruner $30,000 Poorer

A Beachlands landowner has been fined $30,000 for the extensive pruning of 13 Pohutukawa trees on a Council reserve in December 2004.

“It appears these publically-owned trees were blocking the view from the offender’s property and the protected trees bore the brunt of an act of complete self interest,” said Hearings Committee Chair Councillor Jan Sinclair.

“When we, the Committee, gave approval for legal action we wished to send a message and we believe Judge McElrea has done that.

“The callous disregard and disrespect for a public amenity will not be dealt with lightly by this Council and this view is now clearly shared by the Courts.

“The fact that the offender had engaged someone else to undertake the works did not reduce the severity of the offence, as he was clearly the instigator.

“The long-term damage to the trees should serve as a reminder to those who think their personal benefit is of higher value than the publics’ enjoyment and ownership of an amenity. This is certainly not the case in Manukau and it was pleasing to note that Judge McElrea reiterated the fact that the level of fines for offending of this nature is gradually increasing,” said Councillor Sinclair.

ENDS

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