Tony Hay - OIR No. 4 – Marlborough District Council new tree policy, June 2020

Tony Hay made this Official Information request to Marlborough District Council

The request was refused by Marlborough District Council.

From: Tony Hay

Dear Marlborough District Council,

Please see Information posted in Tony Hay OIR No. 1, 2 and 3 before proceeding.

My name is Tony Hay and I am the owner, along with my wife, of 42 Lakings Road, Springlands, Blenheim.

I believe that I have supplied the Marlborough District Council (MDC) with overwhelming reasons for the removal of the 3 trees from the berm on the southern side of my property at 42 Lakings Road, Springlands, Blenheim.

Having become increasing concerned about the damage these trees could cause I started to investigate the repercussions of the trees being blown over. In my reasons I have had to quote from other Councils in New Zealand as to their criteria with managing street trees under their responsibility since the MDC did not appear to have a comprehensive tree policy in early 2019. I don’t know for sure whether my efforts were instrumental in the MDC finally producing a comprehensive Tree Policy in June 2020 but I note that the first version is dated 23rd October 2019, some 6 months after my original request.

Few people would want to buy property with a protected tree on it unless they were a dedicated environmentalist as it potentially affects resale value. It penalises proprietors unnecessarily since to manage protected trees one is forced to make a Resource Consent Request application which currently the Council can turn down.

Large trees belong in reserves and parks. It is likely that Council did not plant the trees on the berm at 42 Lakings Road but inherited the trees, but never the less they are now Councils responsibility. These trees are not suitable for today’s urban street areas especially considering climate change.

My Questions:

It is interesting to note that Appendix 3 of the 2020 Tree Policy does not include Willow Oak, Pin Oak or Copper Beech. Is that because it is blatantly obvious that these trees would never be considered as suitable to be placed on berms?

Has the Marlborough District Council ever considered “working” with the ratepayers of Marlborough in the management of trees rather than using disincentives like having to potentially pay costs for tree pruning and removal?

Yours faithfully,

Tony Hay

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From: MDC
Marlborough District Council

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Customer Services

Marlborough District Council

Phone 03 520 7400


15 Seymour Street, PO Box 443

Blenheim 7240, New Zealand

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From: Shirley Umbers-8829
Marlborough District Council

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I refer to your email of 14 February and indicate the information has been
received and the response is as follows:


1.       The Tree Policy provides guidance on planting trees going
forward. The species listed in Appendix 3 are known to have a particular
issue that excludes them from being planted in trees. Policies regarding
planting also require consideration of choosing the correct species eg;
4.2.1 which refers to limitation of the site and the size of the tree and

2.       The Council does encourage ratepayers to help look after trees.
Information is included on the Council’s website about this.

This does not, however extend to pruning trees which is required to be
done by a qualified arborist. The Tree Policy provides guidance about the
circumstances when costs will be recovered (6.2.8) and the level of
contribution required is decided on a case by case basis.


This completes this request.


Tony Quirk

District Secretary




Phone:   03 520 7400


15 Seymour Street, PO Box 443

Blenheim 7240, New Zealand

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