Gift leaves couple stumped

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 05:00 26/01/2013
COUNCIL GIFT: First time builder Alison Latimer discusses a tree for her new home with Plantorama's Alister Davis.

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New home builder Alison Latimer assumed there was a problem with her consent when she got a letter from the council - but they just wanted to buy her a tree.

Miss Latimer and her partner Brent Campbell have been planning their dream house for three years, and building started after their existing house was demolished on September 10 last year. The couple hope to be in their new home at the end of the month.

On Thursday they got a letter from the council, saying Timaru District Mayor Janie Annear wanted to offer them $35 for a tree.

"As a new homeowner with the Timaru district, you are entitled to a $35 contribution towards a tree to assist with the landscaping around your new home," the letter stated.

Miss Latimer was pleasantly surprised.

"I hadn't heard about it before and yes, I thought that there was something wrong with the consent.

"I was really pleased and surprised to get the voucher. It is a very thoughtful gift to receive as it can be enjoyed for a long time. When building there is usually not much money left in the budget for plants and landscaping and that is our situation at the moment."

When finances allow they plan to create a easy-care, low maintenance garden with a courtyard.

A call to Plantorama revealed that the scheme has been in place for 10 years, according to manager Alister Davis.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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