Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Licence needed for work use Learn More

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

 

Tree offender admits guilt and publicly apologises

8 December 2005

Tree offender admits guilt and publicly apologises

George Bernard Shaw, charged earlier this year with destroying a scheduled pohutukawa tree in Royal Oak, today made a public apology to Auckland City Council's Planning and Regulatory Committee.

Mr Shaw said: "I wish to sincerely apologise to Auckland City Council and the community and my family for the very bad error of judgement and big mistake made in destroying the scheduled pohutukawa tree at 21 Mt Smart Road, Royal Oak. If I could turn back the clock then I would. I'm deeply regretful and genuinely remorseful and ashamed at what has occurred. I'm offering no excuses; it should not have happened. I foolishly succumbed to heavy financial stress and holding cost pressures."

Councillor Glenda Fryer, chairperson of the Planning and Regulatory Committee, says that while the committee notes Mr Shaw's apology, it did not alter the facts.

"This was a stunning pohutukawa that was of great value to the community and it is incredibly sad that it has been lost. This was an act of crude vandalism by a developer who knows the rules and who has previous convictions for cutting down trees in similar circumstances," she says.

"Mr Shaw did not cooperate with council's investigation and denied wrongdoing until the extent of council's evidence was disclosed to him recently."

Mr Shaw has paid $50,000 to the council for costs and is due to appear in court next week on the charge of destroying a scheduled tree, which is an offence under the Resource Management Act 1991.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

The maximum penalty allowed is a jail term of no more than two years or a fine of no more than $200,000.

Mr Shaw will also apologise to the Maungakiekie Community Board early in the New Year.

The tree is still alive but Auckland City is seeking advice about its ability to recover in order to decide its future.

The attack on the tree took place on 24 January this year. Two men were seen leaping from a car and chopping the limbs from the tree at about 10.30am. The council had received an application to demolish buildings on the site in 2004 but the application had been put on hold because of concerns that work would be required within the dripline of the tree. Demolition went ahead regardless and the site was clear except for the tree.

The investigation into the attack has taken considerable staff time and resources and involved search warrants across Auckland and in Whangarei.

The tree, located at 21 Mount Smart Road, was notable for its size and beauty, reaching 11 metres in height, limbs over two metres in girth and a canopy spread of more than 20 metres. Annual growth rings on the cuts indicate that the tree is over 100 years old. The tree was scheduled in the council's District Plan, preventing works within its dripline and all but very minor hand pruning. The dripline is the area around the trunk where the primary feeder roots that carry nutrients are.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On National Spreading Panic About The Economy


It is a political strategy as old as time. Scare the public with tales of disaster and stampede them into supporting your ideological agenda because they believe There Is No Alternative. Yet, if the NZ economy truly is as “fragile” as PM Christopher Luxon says it is... Then how come New Zealand has enjoyed a double AA+ credit rating from the international rating agencies for so long? If we have truly been in the thrall of incompetent tax, spend and borrow extremists for the past six years, how come our net government debt burden is only in the middling average of OECD countries, and how come our government debt-to-GDP ratio – however you measure it – is less than half the average for the Asia-Pacific region?..
More


 
 


Labour: Grant Robertson To Retire From Parliament
Labour List MP and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will retire from Parliament next month, and later in the year take up the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago... More

Government: Budget Will Be Delivered On 30 May

Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence, and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, says Nicola Willis... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.