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

 

Holiday park sentenced for clearing native sand dunes

Holiday park sentenced for clearing native sand dunes

For immediate release: 13 August 2013

An eastern Bay of Plenty holiday park and its owner have been fined a total of $42,000 for illegal earthworks and illegal vegetation clearance in native sand dunes at Thornton Beach last year.

Thornton Beach Holiday Park Limited and its owner, David John Edwards, each pleaded guilty to two Resource Management Act offences brought by Bay of Plenty Regional Council for clearing sand dunes between 11 May 2012 and 10 August 2012. They were sentenced by Judge Melanie Harland on 7 August 2013.

The company bought the 3.1 hectare holiday park in 2006 and in May 2008 Mr Edwards indicated to Whakatane District Council that he was interested in leasing another five hectares of reserve on the western side of the holiday park so that he could expand the holiday park.

Some of the reserve area had previously been used as a sand mine, but about 1.6 hectares of the reserve was heavily vegetated native sand dunes that was part of the nationally-significant Otamarakau-Matata-Whakatane Dunes complex.

An ecological assessment obtained by Mr Edwards in 2008 identified that his proposed extension would involve levelling the natural formation of the native sand dunes, clearing the indigenous vegetation, and breaching a number of the objectives and policies of the Regional Coastal Plan.

In October 2009 Mr Edwards lodged a resource consent application to extend the holiday park over the reserve land for caravan sites, 50 powered camping sites, 10 accommodation units, 20 re-locatable homes, staff accommodation, ablution blocks and associated buildings. Local iwi and Department of Conservation (DOC) objected to the consent application.

DOC was concerned about Mr Edwards’ expansion plans because the area was covered in indigenous vegetation, the native sand dunes were part of a nationally significant natural dune ecosystem and said it was important that this area of dune system be left intact as one of the best examples of coastal dune ecosystem remaining in the Bay of Plenty.

Any development or changes to the coastal dune system could compromise the stability of the dune formation and make the area susceptible to adverse weather, particularly during storm events, DOC said.

Because of the objections, Mr Edwards modified his consent application to exclude the native sand dunes and the consent was granted.

Between 11 May and 10 August 2012 the defendants arranged for all vegetation in a 1.5 hectare area of the adjacent native sand dunes to be cleared by a bulldozer, levelling the native sand dune area.

When spoken to later by Council officers Mr Edwards said he cleared the native sand dunes because it was a fire risk and it was not pleasing to look at, detracting from the camping areas that he had opened up behind it.

In sentencing Mr Edwards and his company, Judge Harland adopted a starting point of $70,000 and applied deductions for previous good character and remorse, remediation work the defendants had agreed to carry out and the defendants’ prompt guilty pleas.

Judge Harland described the environmental effects of the offending as severe and dramatic. She said that the offending was deliberate and the defendants’ culpability was high.

In February this year the Whakatane District Council and the defendants entered into a Dune Management Area Restoration Agreement to restore the area over eight years to re-establish the native plants.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Pollution Prevention team leader Steve Pickles said people needed to contact both the regional and local councils before embarking on any land clearance projects to find out if they needed a consent.

“These penalties should send out a strong deterrent message to the community that unlawful earthworks or vegetation clearance will be treated by the Courts as serious offending,” Mr Grogan said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Rivals For The Covid Saliva Testing Dollar

If you want a good insight into what the limits of tiny, barely discernible steps to reduce poverty actually look like, delve into the latest Statistics Department figures on poverty in New Zealand Most of the nine measures utilised reveal little or no progress in combatting poverty over the 21 months to March 2020... More>>


 

Government: Reserve Bank To Take Account Of Housing In Decision Making

The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into ... More>>

ALSO:


RNZ: Alert Levels Remain

There are no new community cases of Covid-19 today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says at least half of the Papatoetoe High School community have been tested and the results that have come through so far have all been negative... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: Latest Release Of Child Poverty Statistics

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>

ALSO:


NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

Travel: Government Eases Visa Restrictions For Visitors In New Zealand

Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Minister of Immigration has announced. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels