Of Cruelty and Bureaucracy.

Mark Hubbard's picture
Submitted by Mark Hubbard on Wed, 2010-06-16 21:00

The below story in the Timaru Herald this morning requires little in the way of preamble. It's shocking from every point of view philosophically, demonstrating as it does the abolition of private property rights under the 'defacto tyranny' that is New Zealand. But then it just gets sicker and sicker when you think of the old couple concerned: the property in Temuka was unlikely to have a market value greater than $300,000, and often 'oldies' tend to have a real fear of authority and of ill consequences given they no longer have the time to rectify their affairs financially. Yet there were obviously bureaucrats in the Timaru Fascist Council who were initimating to this old couple they were facing the possibility of a two year prison term or a fine of $300,000: to do this was cruel and callous, and merely running such petty little bureaucrats out of office would not make up for it. I would have to assume such bureaucrats,lets call them callous pricks (and in the dim past one of them has called me an 'elitist prick' for thinking I had more property rights than a rental tenant): ... one would have to assume such callous pricks in council never had parents they loved.

Oh, what did this old couple do: assault and battery perhaps? Theft? Of course not.

They cut down a rotting old tree on 'their' (yeah right) property.



A Temuka couple who faced the possibility of a six-figure fine or jail term for felling a protected tree without a resource consent are warning other property owners not to make the same mistake.

In 2008 Bert and Shirley West bought their Temuka home, but their lawyers did not tell them the Land Information Memorandum showed two protected trees on the property.

Their legal woes began in February this year, when they cut down one of the trees, which was rotting and breaking.

While their lawyers had said there was nothing on the title regarding protected trees, the Timaru District Council charged the couple for removing the tree without getting resource consent.

Mr West said the charge, laid under the Resource Management Act, was a painful lesson which he hoped nobody else would have to go through.

"We have learnt a valuable and costly lesson about how the Resource Management Act works and the obligations on property owners to check if there are significant trees located on their property."

The maximum penalty for the charge was a prison term of up to two years, or a fine up to $300,000.

In light of the background to felling the tree, the council agreed not to prosecute, but only if the Wests agreed to pay $3000 compensation.

The amount covered what would have been paid for getting resource consent and for the compensation for the loss of "amenity value" of the tree.

And for Rand's sake, what is the 'amenity value' of either a healthy tree, or in this case, a rotting one?

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A warning would help ...

Curt Holmes's picture

... on posts such as this one. Maybe something like:

"Caution, what you are about to learn may cause irreparable damage to your hope for the well being of your children and their children."

Meanwhile in Lower Hutt...

Lance's picture


"Residents held a candlelight vigil, started a Facebook page, Save The Pohutukawa Tree, and presented a 900-signature petition to Hutt City Council in their efforts to save the tree. "

A candle light vigil for a godsdamned PLANT!

"The site's owners, the Hosanna World Outreach Centre, said it had to go to make way for drainage for an eight-metre-high auditorium. "

My suggestion to the 900 people who signed the petition would be to have had a whip 'round and offered to "adopt" the tree and offset the cost of the church changing its building plan.

Yeah well I've got to stop

Mark Hubbard's picture

Yeah well I've got to stop reading the business media, because it's taking years off me.

Now look: http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/n...

Quote: NZX chairman Andrew Harmos believes New Zealanders are "ready for some compulsion" in their savings.

Luckily I see that freedom crank Tribeless has waded into the NBR thread:

Not content to let the State alone in bullying us around, now a supposed business leader advocating compulsion.

For Rand's sake I just utterly despair at the dearth of philosophy in the West.

Why am I not surprised this weasels out from the NZX. The Prime NZX Useful Idiot Weldon advocating pre-budget that the Government should attack property investors by attacking LAQC's, showing he had no idea of the difference between a business sector and a business structure. Now Useful Idiot Two puts his head up above the parapet of the same organisation. Appalling.

Harmos, do you feel your NZX is so hopeless that the only way to drum up business is to advocate for compulsion at the brute hands of State? Why not advocate for the single-most thing that can get quality companies to the NZX: a free b-loody market. And with that our freedom (for people like me from people like you).

None of these mental giants learned anything out of WWII (indeed, since 1776).

Just another sign ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... that the world is stark staring bonkers.

I used to go off about this sort of atrocity on my PI Show, day after day. I think it took years off my life.

The RMA definition of

Lance's picture

The RMA definition of "Amenity Value":
"Those natural or physical qualities and characteristics of an area that contribute to people's appreciation of its pleasantness, aesthetic coherence, and cultural and recreational attributes"

Cor, you could smuggle in an awful lot with that definition couldn't you? Well the last two are out, the tree was on "private" property, robbing the good people of Timaru of appreciating its recreational or cultural attributes already. Presumably the lost "value" applies to the pleasantness and/or aesthetic coherence then? A rotting tree doesn't sound particularly pleasant and if it was part of the aesthetic coherence of the area, well I suggest other property owners in the area hire men with chainsaws immediately.*

*With consent forms, requisite safety equipment and emergency safety action response plan and a consultant from the local iwi of course.

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