Killing for a bet­ter view

Waikato Times - - News - Jake McKee Cag­ney jake.mc@stuff.co.nz

Trees across the Coro­man­del Penin­sula have be­come tar­gets for van­dal­ism as prop­erty own­ers look to pre­serve their views.

In re­cent weeks, eight po¯ hutukawa trees on the Ta­puta­pu­atea Spit in Whi­tianga have been cut down.

Ap­prox­i­mately a dozen pine trees at the Pauanui Es­tu­ary have also ben van­dalised. As a re­sult, they started to die and had to be re­moved for safety rea­sons.

There have been cases over the years where trees were poi­soned or van­dalised be­cause they blocked some­body’s view, ac­cord­ing to ThamesCoro­man­del District Coun­cil.

In 2007, the coun­cil was suc­cess­ful in bring­ing a $70,000 fine against a landowner who re­moved trees on a re­serve for view pur­poses.

The Mer­cury Bay Com­mu­nity Board are putting signs in place of the re­moved trees that read: ‘‘This sign re­places a tree in­ten­tion­ally de­stroyed by self­ish van­dals’’.

TCDC spokesper­son Lau­rna White said the coun­cil needs to rely on the pub­lic to in­form them about van­dal­ism and take pho­tos of it.

She said other sur­veil­lance meth­ods, such as in­stalling CCTV, would not be as ef­fec­tive. ‘‘We can’t pre­dict what ar­eas are go­ing to be tar­geted, so CCTV is not the most cost ef­fec­tive or use­ful way to catch some­one in the act.’’

Mayor San­dra Goudie said tree van­dal­ism of­ten in­creased towards sum­mer, ‘‘par­tic­u­larly when peo­ple come back to their bach to find trees have grown’’.

She said it was a sad and sense­less act. ‘‘It’s a great shame some­one would re­sort to killing our beau­ti­ful na­tive coastal trees on a pub­lic re­serve that are there for the en­joy­ment of ev­ery­body.’’

The coun­cil are look­ing to re-plant in the fu­ture.

TCDC

Mer­cury Bay Com­mu­nity Board mem­bers with sig­nage go­ing in place of van­dalised trees.

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