‘Sneak attack’ as hedge gets council chop
A giant sculpted hedge has been cut back to wood along its base in a ‘‘rapid sneak attack’’ from the council battling its owners.
The macrocarpa hedge at Waikanae Beach, on the Kapiti Coast north of Wellington, had a corridor cut along the length of its base last week.
In January, the Osborne family were ordered by Kapiti Coast District Council to cut the hedge’s entire roadside frontage after neighbourhood complaints about road safety.
Owner Vince Osborne’s grandfather planted the giant, sculpted planting in the 1930s.
On Wednesday Osborne said he was in Wellington when he got word from a supporter driving past the hedge that it was being cut at about 10am.
He said by the time he got back at 11.30am, a tractor with a cutter had run along the length of the hedge, giving it a rough cut back to bare wood.
He said the cut was a ‘‘rapid, sneak attack’’ on the hedge, despite his family offering compromises that could have avoided the need for the work.
Kapiti mayor K Gurunathan said the cut was not a sneak attack, with the process going on for months - since January.
He said safety concerns caused by the hedge, particularly for neighbours, were the focus for him, and ‘‘the safety issue is paramount’’.
Gurunathan said the council was taking care with the cut,
and arborists will go in and try to shape what remains.
The chop comes after someone sprayed a 1.5-metre-high line of poison along the trees in the hedge.
The giant hedge after getting a trim.