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Council asks for tree prosecution to be withdrawn

Council asks for tree prosecution to be withdrawn

Following comments by a District Court judge today that the felling of native trees on an Ōtaki property was a ‘trivial’ offence, Council believes it is no longer in the public interest to seek a prosecution against the contractor also charged over the same incident.

It will be advising the Crown Solicitor in Palmerston North that it is the Council’s view that the charges be withdrawn.

"The Court’s view expressed today, and the intense media coverage this case has drawn, has made pursuing a prosecution against the contractor no longer in the public interest.

"This case was always going to be very sensitive, and we endeavoured to align our protection measures of the Kāpiti Coast's unique native bush with the wishes of this community via the rules of the Operative District Plan."

Mr Dougherty has publicly acknowledged that some of the advice the Council received was not acceptable, and has launched an investigation to understand where improvements can be made to operations and the enforcement policy.

ENDS

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