‘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.

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