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Court order, convictions and fine for coastal damage

A Coromandel man has been issued with a court order prohibiting him from carrying out any further illegal works in the coastal marine area that borders his property.

The enforcement order follows a prosecution taken by Waikato Regional Council against David Peter Savage for installing unlawful structures and illegally disturbing the coastal area at Coroglen, south of Whitianga.

Mr Savage was also convicted for four breaches of the Resource Management Act and fined a total of $30,000 by Judge Kirkpatrick in the Tauranga District Court last week. The breaches involved the unlawful installations of a mooring and a culvert, as well as excavations of the Waiwawa Wetland and coastal marine area.

The breaches were brought to the attention of the council by a local resident who expressed concerns about wetland reclamation and drainage activities at the southern end of the Whitianga Estuary.

Waikato Regional Council responded to the complaint and commenced a formal investigation. The council found that Mr Savage had completed unlawful works to protect his adjacent dairy farm as he considered it was vulnerable to flooding and the incursion of salt water.

The council’s investigations and incident response manager, Patrick Lynch, said: “The saline wetland is nationally significant. The coastal marine area is protected to preserve the natural character of our coastal environment.

“We are disappointed with the actions of Mr Savage and trust this fine will remind all coastal land owners that they need to approach the regional council so they are properly informed before carrying out any works.”

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