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

 


High Court rules in favour of QEII National Trust

Media release

27 February 2014

High Court rules in favour of QEII National Trust

A High Court judge yesterday ruled in favour of the QEII National Trust in a case that took Canterbury farmer R H Wobben of Netherland Holdings Limited to court for breaching an interim injunction order. The order was issued to prevent him causing ongoing damage to covenants on his property.

The purpose of the injunction was to “hold the fort” while the Trust progressed its claim to restore woodland covenants that Mr Wobben extensively damaged early in 2013 by clearing large areas.

The Trust was forced to apply for the interim injunction order after Netherland Holdings Limited failed to adhere to a written agreement to stop further damaging activity in the covenants while restoration steps were being agreed. It subsequently lodged an application with the High Court after it obtained clear evidence that Mr Wobben was ignoring the injunction conditions.

Netherlands Holdings Limited’s actions have severely damaged one of the last remaining pockets of undisturbed kanuka woodlands on the Canterbury Plains. Kanuka woodlands are only found in semi-arid, low nutrient environments such as the Canterbury Plains. Due to pastoral development, 99.7% of this type of woodland ecosystem has been lost here.

The primary objective of the Trust’s action is to defend the covenant agreement and secure the restoration of the rare woodland remnant.

The Trust was able to prove that Mr Wobben was operating irrigation equipment in the covenant and had applied fertilizer to parts of it. Both actions are very detrimental to the natural conditions required for the restoration and regeneration of the damaged covenants and directly violated the court injunction.

Justice Rachel Dunningham found that the defendant was in contempt of the Court by “repeated and deliberate breaches of the order”.
“I have no doubt that this was conduct which was wilful, reckless or contumacious on the part of the defendants.

“Mr Wobben should be in no doubt that imprisonment is an available option to punish a wilful or reckless disobedience of a Court order,” Justice Dunningham said.
Justice Dunningham recognised that the Trust’s action was taken only after its strenuous efforts to come to an agreement with the landowner to halt damaging activity and reinstate the covenants had failed.

“It is an aggravating feature of this case that the Trust has had to escalate its response to the alleged breaches of the ... covenants, from informal advice, to formal undertakings and then to seeking interim orders from the Court,” she said.

Trust Chair James Guild said the interim case has reinforced the Trust’s position as the perpetual trustee and defender of open space covenant agreements.

“While we are still to have our day in court for the original covenant breaches, this interim case shows that the measures we have had to take to defend the covenant are legally justified, and breaches of court injunctions issued on our behalf are taken seriously and can have serious consequences.
“We look forward to the day when work to restore this rare woodland ecosystem can start in earnest,” Mr Guild said.

The case seeking full restoration of the covenanted areas is still to be heard in the High Court later this year.

Queen_Elizabeth_and_SecondNational_Trust_v_Netherland_Holdings_Ltd.pdf

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news