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

 

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>c

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news