INDEPENDENT NEWS

ARC Says Don't Plant Trees!

Published: Wed 8 Oct 2003 12:18 AM
ARC Says Don't Plant Trees!
ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today said that the Auckland City Council's ludicrous decision to fine a ratepayer $2,500 for cutting down a tree on their property has sent a crystal clear message to Aucklanders - don't plant trees.
"Its decision to prosecute a property owner for cutting down a privately-owned tree sends a clear signal - don't plant trees that will grow into lovely specimens because we, the ARC, won't let you cut them down when they become a danger or a nuisance," Mr Eckhoff said.
"In future, developers and councils will not have to worry about trees being cut down, as sensible landowners will lower them before they can be enjoyed by the wider public.
"A $2,500 fine for an introduced species may soon be replaced by a $200,000 fine for a native tree, as native trees seem to have more right to exist in New Zealand.
"The ARC's nonsensical attitude is summed up by its determination to increase the fine according to any financial benefit the landowner might derive from cutting down the tree.
"What's next for tree-owners? Fines imposed by height, colour, species and ethic origins of the trees felled? What if the wind blows a tree over? Finding God is difficult, but collection may still be possible from one of his relatives at the ARC's Planning Department," Mr Eckhoff said.

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