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Damage to native trees on two Ōtaki properties

Media Advisory in relation to damage to native trees on two Ōtaki properties

Council is continuing to get a lot of calls regarding this issue. We have tried to give some context over the last couple of days but thought it might be useful to more baldly state the facts.

• Council received notification of damage and felling of trees on the two Ōtaki properties in August 2013

• Trees are important to Kapiti’s ecology and naturally occurring indigenous vegetation is protected under the District Plan

• These rules were put in place following extensive consultation with the community and at the time of their introduction, there were no objections received

• After a thorough investigation by a tree specialist, it was established that some 73 trees on two properties in Oriwa Crescent Ōtaki had been felled or damaged (39 were on the Standen’s property 34 on neighbours)

• This is the first prosecution Council has sought under the RMA in relation to damage to native trees. Our decision to proceed to prosecution was based on a consultant aborist’s report about the extent of the damage and the species of trees involved, which included Kohekohe and Tawa

• Although 73 trees were felled or damaged, Council is pursuing a prosecution relating to only10 trees – 7 on the Standen’s property

• Council is prosecuting the contractor as well as the Standens and their neighbours. A contractor can not be prosecuted without involving the associated landowners

• Because this matter is before the courts, Council has been restrained in what it has chosen to say publicly. We are disappointed the same constraint hasn’t been shown by other parties.


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