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

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ.

Cunliffe marshalled his points better, kept Key off balance and – more often than not – was in control of the general tenor of the contest. Labour supporters would have been heartened, and given some belated reassurance that maybe the change of leadership last year had been the right decision. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour On Climate Change: Focus On The Now For The Future

A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission and implement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Housing Assistance Plan

So, as many as 90,000 people could derive some benefit from National’s housing assistance plans for low and middle-income earners... Yet in reality, the benefits seem likely to be insignificant, and they will be skewed towards those at the top end of the income group that’s supposedly the target. More>>

ALSO:

Election Data Consortium: National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further. More>>

ALSO:

From The Scoop Video Archive: PM Says SIS "Told Me" About OIA Release

In a press conference immediately following an controversial OIA release of notes on an SIS briefing to then Labour leader Phil Goff, Key said "at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ...". Since the release of Nicky Hager's 'Dirty Politics' Key has denied being personally informed and said references by officials to 'the PM' being told briefed referred to his office. He now says the same about his own statement. More>>

ALSO:

  • Scoop Video in the news - New questions over Key claims | NZ Herald News - Stuff.co.nz
  • Earlier - Felix Marwick: Laying out facts over SIS documents - Newstalk ZB
  • Labour - Director’s letter contradicts Key’s claims
  • ACT - The Letter - 26 days to go
  • TV3 Video - Housing issue nudges Dirty Politics aside - David Cunliffe: Key's SIS explanation 'defies belief' - SIS leak came from Key's Office - Goff - Key 'categorically denies' Slater OIA discussion - Video: Key faces more Dirty Politics questions

  • TVNZ - Winston Peters: ‘Dirty Politics' is a new low
  • The Nation - Debate Between Grant Robertson And Russel Norman
  • NZ First - “The Words Mean What I Say They Mean”
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news