Call to check rules be­fore chop­ping trees

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT -

While the rules about tree pro­tec­tion re­main in­con­sis­tent through­out Auck­land the coun­cil is re­mind­ing peo­ple to check be­fore chop­ping any spec­i­mens.

Un­til the Auck­land Coun­cil adopts the Uni­tary Plan, which will pro­vide one rule­book for the whole re­gion, a num­ber of dif­fer­ent rules ap­ply­ing to tree cut­ting and prun­ing still ex­ist un­der the former plans.

The coun­cil has re­vised the ex­tent of the gen­eral tree pro­tec­tion rules for Rod­ney, the North Shore and the old Auck­land City Coun­cil area, mean­ing coun­cil con­sent may no longer be re­quired to cut or prune trees.

But plan­ning man­ager Penny Pir­rit says some trees are still pro­tected and need to

coun­cils’

district be checked against the tree reg­is­ter.

‘‘Th­ese cir­cum­stances are usu­ally site-spe­cific and in­clude the spe­cific zon­ing of a prop­erty, the prox­im­ity to streams and the coast, whether the tree is sched­uled or whether the tree is pro­tected as a con­di­tion of a pre­vi­ous re­source con­sent or covenant,’’ Ms Pir­rit says.

‘‘If you fell or dam­age a pro­tected tree, you may be pros­e­cuted and fined.’’

Ms Pir­rit says the lat­est changes to the rules will mean that some res­i­dents who have re­source con­sent ap­pli­ca­tions pend­ing will no longer need a con­sent to re­move or prune the trees.

In those cases, a let­ter will be sent to ad­vise them that they can go ahead with­out any au­tho­ri­sa­tion needed.

There are no changes to tree pro­tec­tion rules in the former Waitakere, Manukau, Franklin or Pa­pakura coun­cil ar­eas, or the Hau­raki Gulf Is­land’s and CBD ar­eas.

In re­cent years, there have been a num­ber of le­gal pro­cesses that have changed the tree rules for the var­i­ous district plan rules across the re­gion.

The

Government

in­tro- duced the Re­source Man­age­ment Re­form Bill to Par­lia­ment last month.

Among other things, the bill pro­poses to fur­ther re­strict all coun­cils’ abil­ity to pro­tect ur­ban trees and would re­voke most, if not all, the gen­eral pro­tec­tion rules across Auck­land.

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