We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Tony Hay please sign in and let everyone know.

Tony Hay - OIR No. 12 – 47 Purkiss Street, Springlands – Council’s Double Standards

Tony Hay made this Official Information request to Marlborough District Council

This request has an unknown status. We're waiting for Tony Hay to read recent responses and update the status.

From: Tony Hay

Dear Marlborough District Council,

Please see Information posted in Tony Hay OIR No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 before proceeding.

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

On the 18th February 2021 I opened “Tony Hay - OIR No. 9 – 47 Purkiss Street, Springlands.” Which can be viewed at https://fyi.org.nz/request/14716-tony-ha...

On 7th January 2022 I made a complaint to Marlborough District Council (MDC) concerning the removal of the tree on Council berm outside 47 Purkiss Street, Blenheim leading on from the OIR No. 9 as mentioned above accusing the Council of having double standards. I stand by that.

Below I have summarized the complaint.

Maia Hart ran an article on Stuff about Clive Whitlock’s tree problem entitled “'Notable' oak tree 'you wouldn't want to live under' saved from the chop” which can be viewed at https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/1270... .

It should be remembered that both myself and Clive Whitlock have been subjected to Marlborough District Council surveys. In my case I have already indicated to Council that I believed the survey to be bias.

“Tony Hay - OIR No. 6 – Marlborough District Council survey” can be viewed at https://fyi.org.nz/request/14676-tony-ha...

I had assumed the Council was aware of the location of the tree on the berm outside 47 Purkiss Street but had supplied some photographs to remind them. I also indicated the rough position of the tree after removal.

Tony Quirk in his reply to my questions in OIR No. 9 indicated that “where it is shown that disruption or damage to essential services, including footpaths and overhead or underground services, could be affected.” Perhaps he would like to indicate where these comments are relevant. There is no footpath on the east side of Purkiss Street at this point, or essential services, and there does not appear to be any overhead or underground services.

He also indicated that “given the tree was having a direct impact on the underground services and access to the property at 47 Purkiss Street.” Again, perhaps he would like to indicate where these comments are relevant given the tree does NOT impede access to the property! I supplied photographs to prove this.

He goes on to add that “For question 2 reference is made to Tree Policy 6.2.6.”. Well let’s look at Tree Policy 6.2.6. which states … “Where the removal of a tree has the potential to be of significant interest to people within the community, consultation will occur. (An exception to this is in circumstances where trees have been assessed as being hazardous, in which case the tree can be removed without consultation.) The extent of notification and consultation will be proportionate to the level of interest in the tree.”

I asked the question, specifically, what made this tree hazardous?

It is obvious to me that the 3 trees on the Council berm on the south side of 42 Lakings Road should have been considered under 6.2.6. since:
• They threaten the Marlborough Lines Electricity Power Station at 41 Lakings Road with considerable health and safety issues
• They also cause problems with leaves and roots blocking the drains, affecting sewerage and water pipes
• All this is contained in “Tony Hay - OIR No. 3 – Health and Safety” which can be viewed at https://fyi.org.nz/request/14673-tony-ha...

Does the Council not understand the legislation covered in “Tony Hay - OIR No. 10 – Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003” which can be viewed at https://fyi.org.nz/request/15325-tony-ha...

Further Questions:

Tony Quirk stated that an arborist did an assessment on the tree and recommended its removal. Was the arborist employed by David James Tree Services and if not, who carried it out?

I would like to see this arborist report – please supply me with a copy.

On Thursday 3rd February 2022 I received the following reply from Tony Quirk, District Secretary.

I refer to your email of 7 January and respond based on information provided to me as follows:

1. Arborist’s report – I am told that an arborist’s report was provided verbally. It indicated the tree was in good health.
2. Residents’ survey – I am advised that an onsite consultation process took place and the parties living close to the tree on both sides of the road agreed with removal. A letter was also sent to all neighbouring properties prior to removal to provide an additional opportunity for any owners with concerns to make contact. None did.
3. Reasons for removal – the indication is that the tree was compromising residential access and with rapid growth would further reduce that access. There was consensus from the owners in the vicinity for the tree removal. The tree was not deemed a desirable species. The potential threat to the storm water main and sump close by from the trees’ vigorous root system was a consideration.
4. Disruption/damage to essential services – a water pipe had broken because of the tree roots. Service plans indicate a storm water main, sump and connection very close to the tree.

This completes the request.

I’m sorry Marlborough District Council that is just not good enough !

Council have subjected both myself and Clive Whitlock to a local survey as well as a general survey. I find it unbelievable that this was not carried out in this case. Double Standards !

I would remind Council that the 3 trees on the berm on the southern side of 42 Lakings Road have:

1. Undermined my southern fence causing damage. I have documented this and supplied Council with photographs and details
2. Caused flooding on both sides of Lakings road due to leaf debris and blockage of the storm water drains. Again, I have documented this and supplied Council with photographs and details over a number of years.
3. Is covered by the legislation – “Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003 “ since the trees threaten the Electricity Power Transformer outside 41 Lakings Road. Again, I have made Council fully aware of the impact and its responsibilities to the ratepayers of Marlborough.
4. Potential for Health and Safety issues with the destruction of the Electricity Power Transformer other side 41 Lakings Road. Yet again, I have made Council aware of their responsibilities.
5. Caused blockage of the sewer outlet from 44 Lakings Road necessitating, at ratepayer’s expense, Council to dig up the driveway, fix the problem, and replace the driveway with a concrete block.

As per usual Council has failed to answer my complaints in the complaint. I have already complained to Council that serially they do NOT answer my questions adequately.


Is it Council policy to “below the radar” address some of the lesser issues associated with trees confronting Marlborough with Climate Change in order to give the impression that Council have the wellbeing of the ratepayers at heart, rather than addressing the bigger issues ?

Council has failed to make any comment with respect to whether the 3 trees on the southern berm of 42 Lakings Road qualify under Tree Policy 6.2.6. Do they qualify and if not why not ?

I understand that the occupant at 47 Purkiss Street had been trying for a number of years to have the tree removed. If the tree at 47 Purkiss Street was blocking access to the ratepayers property why has it taken so long to have the tree removed ?

Council also did not address the question as to whether they fully understand the legislation covered in Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003. Does Council and if not why not ?

Council also failed to specify who the arborist was that supplied the verbal assessment. Who was it, and was this person fully accredited by Council as an arborist ?

Tree policy 6.2.6. states that (An exception to this is in circumstances where trees have been assessed as being hazardous, in which case the tree can be removed without consultation.). Does the Council accept that the 3 trees on the southern side of 42 Lakings Road are hazardous due to the potential “Kill Zone” associated with them when a severe weather event occurs ?

Yours faithfully,

Tony Hay

Link to this

From: MDC
Marlborough District Council

Attachment image001.jpg
5K Download

Your message will be processed and forwarded to the appropriate staff
member or department for action.


This email address is monitored between 8.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to
Friday (excluding public holidays). If this enquiry is urgent, please call
our customer service line on 03 520 7400 which is answered 24 hours a day,
7 days a week.




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]



show quoted sections


Visible links
2. mailto:[Marlborough District Council request email]
3. http://www.marlborough.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: Tony Quirk-8077
Marlborough District Council

Attachment Picture Device Independent Bitmap 1.jpg
5K Download

Attachment Tony Hay OIR No.12 47 Purkiss Street Springlands.html
8K Download

Attachment image001.png
17K Download

The Office of the Ombudsman received a complaint from you that you had not
received any response to OIA12.
I indicated to that Office that a response had been sent on 2 March.
It was noted that one digit was missing from the address.  Nothing bounced
back so the assumption held at our end was that the response had gone
I attach the request sent on 2 March.
Tony Quirk
District Secretary
Phone:   03 520 7400
15 Seymour Street, PO Box 443
Blenheim 7240, New Zealand
[1][email address]

show quoted sections


Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.marlborough.govt.nz/

Link to this

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Tony Hay please sign in and let everyone know.

Things to do with this request

Marlborough District Council only: