Tony Hay - OIR No. 5 – Marlborough District Council coming onto my property without my permission to carry out substantial pruning of the trees

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, 3 and 4 before proceeding.

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

In an email from Tony Quirk, District Secretary on 29th May 2020 he said that he had been advised by the Parks and Open Spaces Section, Marlborough District Council (MDC), that they would soon be organising pruning work to be done, as recommended in the arborist’s report.

On the 29th July 2020 the 2 oak trees were pruned. I was in Wellington at the time and was not aware that this was due to take place. The pruning was carried out partly from inside my property with no approval sort or given to do this. The letter from Robin Dunn, Parks and Open Spaces Officer, at MDC was placed in our letter box and was dated the 20th July 2020. We left to go to Wellington on 27th July 2020 and the letter was not in our letter box at that time so we were not aware of the planned pruning. This was less than 2 days before the pruning was due to take place. This was far too little notice in my opinion and lacked common courtsey.

The tree pruning was carried out by arborists from David James Tree Services (DJTS). I cannot believe that the reserves section of MDC was not fully aware of the recommendation in the arborist report and took the opportunity to give the 2 trees a substantial pruning including lower and upper branches. Timothy Lovejoy of DJTS recommended: ….” Approximate end-weight pruning for canopy wind tolerance” and supplied a photograph to back this up. This was carried out and is relevant to the willow oak. The pruning left a lot of dead branches still in place and highlights that the MDC have failed to manage the trees over the years.

I felt that the MDC were ignoring my complaints regarding removal of the trees. This led me to place placards on the front fence of my property. Having done that, I then emailed Marlborough Councillors highlighting my frustrations on 6th August 2020.

Luckily the Deputy Mayor, Nadine Taylor took notice of my plight and replied on the 17th August 2020: “I have now met with Council Reserves staff to discuss your request to remove the trees fronting your property at 42 Lakings Road, Blenheim. We have agreed it would be useful to undertake a targeted survey of local residents (plus a general public notification) seeking feedback on the trees in question. This is the same process used a few months ago when Council considered the removal of trees from several parks in Blenheim. From there an assessment of the feedback received, your request, and the provisions of the Tree Policy, can be undertaken.”

I thanked her and commented that I assumed that this would be carried out by Council Reserves staff. I also pointed out that my relationship with them had deteriorated in recent times but was hopeful that the survey would be carried out with integrity.

I have more to say about the survey conducted by the MDC in the next OIR No. 6.

My Questions:

Will the Marlborough District Council on behalf of the Reserves Section of Council be issuing a public apology to me for failing to adequately inform me of the aforementioned pruning of the 2 trees but more importantly for coming on to my property without getting my permission?

Again, will I be getting an apology from David James Tree Services who the council employed to carry out the pruning for coming onto my property without my permission while I was away and causing property damage?

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

[2][Marlborough District Council request email]



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From: Shirley Umbers-8829
Marlborough District Council

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The information I have received in response to the two questions are as


1.       Often the timeframe for notifying residents about tree removals
can be short depending on the notice Council receives from the arborist
about when the work is to occur. We are unsure about the date of the
letter and the delivery date.

2.       In clarifying with David James Tree Services no work was done
from Mr Hay’s property for  the pruning of the trees. Detritus from the
tree would have fallen onto his property and this would have been
retrieved by DJTS staff.


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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