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

 


Chief Executive disappointed at Council drubbing over trees

MEDIA RELEASE


Chief Executive disappointed at Council drubbing over trees

21 FEBRUARY, 2014


Chief Executive Pat Dougherty says he’s disappointed Council has come under so much criticism for seeking a prosecution in relation to extensive damage to native trees on two Ōtaki properties.

“It may suit some people to see this as a classic David and Goliath story but it simply is not,” he says.

Mr Dougherty says Council did not take the decision to seek a prosecution against two property owners, and the contractor involved, lightly. He said it was done only after a thorough investigation by a senior ecologist, who determined, among other things, that:

• 73 trees on the properties were damaged, including 41 felled

• species included Tawa, Kohekohe, Silver Fern, Mahoe, Ribbonwood and Kawakawa

• very few of the felled trees were ‘dead & diseased’.

“Residents live in this District because they love the lifestyle and abundant native vegetation that provides many recreational opportunities. Trees are important to Kāpiti’s ecology and that is why naturally occurring indigenous vegetation is protected under the District Plan. These rules were put in place following extensive community consultation.

“Council has been very considered in applying these rules, preferring an educative rather than punitive approach.”

Mr Dougherty says there have been a number of infringements issued for damage or destruction of native vegetation in the District but this is the first prosecution Council has sought under the RMA in relation to damage to native trees.

“Part of our decision to prosecute was based on the senior ecologist’s detailed report. The other part was based on balancing the scale, nature and effect of the breach of the rules against our duties as a regulatory authority. This includes considering what sort of deterrent effect we could achieve by taking formal enforcement action. In spite of the extensive damage recorded on the two properties we have focussed on only ten of the largest trees (seven on the Standen’s property).

“We are also prosecuting the contractor because, whilst we understand some property owners may not be aware of their rights under the District Plan rules, we would certainly expect trained professionals to be.”

Mr Dougherty says Council has been reluctant to enter into a debate through the media and put facts in the public domain that it would be relying on in court. He says he is disappointed other parties haven’t been similarly restrained.

“I am very disappointed at the unbalanced coverage this matter has received over the past few days. It denies natural justice for everybody concerned.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Pre-Caucus Audio:
David Cunliffe And
The Future Of The
Labour Party

David Cunliffe met with the press today after Saturday’s disappointing election result for The Labour Party.

“We are all deeply concerned by the result of our party vote. I want to be clear that I, as leader, am responsible for that result” Cunliffe said. Although he called the results “deeply disappointing” Cunliffe said “the voters are always right”.

He felt that Labour needed to make improvements and take action: “We don’t need months to get feedback from members of the public, we've had a lot over the past 48 hours”. More>>

Update: After a seven hour caucus meeting David Cunliffe has announced Chris Hipkins and Carmel Sepuloni as new party whips and said the Labour council will hold an independent review into the election result. He did not comment on any leadership vote.

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left... More>>

ALSO:

General Election NZ: National Win

Election Night: With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose. Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party. More>>

ALSO:

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news