Way­ward chooks given boot


Chick­ens at a Pu­taruru home hatched a neigh­bourly dis­pute with the South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil caught in the mid­dle.

Ch­eryl-Lee Sav­age com­plained to the coun­cil for more than three months about her neigh­bour’s chick­ens es­cap­ing onto her yard.

Last Wed­nes­day her neigh­bours were told the 10 chick­ens had to be re­moved.

Un­der the Keep­ing of An­i­mals, Poul­try and Bees by­law, chick­ens are not al­lowed to be free range in an ur­ban area.

A coop was built last week to com­ply with the by­law.

But af­ter an in­spec­tion from the coun­cil, three had snuck out, re­sult­ing in the evic­tion no­tice.

Sav­age said she un­der­stood coun­cil staff would be too busy to solve the is­sue straight away.

‘‘I know they have big­ger is­sues to deal with.’’

How­ever the ‘‘an­noy­ing nui­sance’’ and ap­par­ent health risk to her 2 and 4-year old chil­dren took too long to be dealt with, she said.

Coun­cil en­vi­ron­men­tal health manager, John An­der­son, be­lieved oth­er­wise.

‘‘ Coun­cil be­lieves the ac­tion taken is ap­pro­pri­ate and fair. En­force­ment ac­tion does take time as coun­cil needs to be rea­son­able about giv­ing peo­ple time to com­ply.’’

Com­plaints are in­ves­ti­gated by un­der­tak­ing site vis­its, as­sess­ing and in­ter­pret­ing leg­is­la­tion and coun­cil pol­icy.

Res­i­dents are ad­vised and ed­u­cated and com­plainants are in­formed of the ac­tion.

And be­cause it was brought up near the Christ­mas break, staff were on leave, he said.

Both Sav­age and neigh­bour Wendy Brun­ton and her fam­ily have butted heads since the be­gin­ning.

They have also re­ceived warn­ings from the agent who man­ages their rented prop­er­ties about re­spect­ing their neigh­bours.

Brun­ton did not see a prob­lem with her an­i­mals. Goats, kit­tens, dogs, chick­ens, birds and rab­bits all re­side at the home.

She said a lot of her an­i­mals were saved from be­ing dumped or abused.

And some were in the process of be­ing adopted.

When it came to the chick­ens, she couldn’t ex­plain how they would have es­caped the home­made coop.

‘‘We have had is­sues with them [the neigh­bours] from the start . . . [but]we’ve com­plied with coun­cil . . . how do they get out? We don’t know.’’

She ad­mit­ted chick­ens had es­caped in the past but it was a rare oc­cur­rence, she said.

FED UP: Pu­taruru res­i­dent Ch­eryl-Lee Sav­age com­plained to the South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil about her neigh­bour’s chick­ens for more than three months and won­dered why it took so long to deal with.

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