Clearing of bush leads to $25k fine
An Auckland man has been convicted and fined $25,000 after illegally clearing a massive section of native bush on Waiheke Island.
Auckland Council prosecuted earthworks contractor Brian Saward after he illegally cleared 8,610sqm of protected native bush and a gecko habitat area in the vicinity of Carson's Rd at the end of 2011.
The council was told about the illegal act in January 2012.
Council enforcement officers ordered a halt to earthworks and conducted a full investigation into the destruction.
Prosecution was pursued given the severity of the offence and the amount of land cleared and its environmental effects, council resource consents manager Heather Harris said.
"The action of the Council, and the decision of the Environment Court, illustrates the Council's commitment to protecting Auckland's environment and the significance of the penalties that may result from illegal works."