Tony Hay – OIR No. 13 - Marlborough District Council regards Ratepayers as COLLATERAL No 1
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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, 11, and 12 before proceeding.
My name is Tony Hay and I am the owner, along with my wife, of 42 Lakings Road, Springlands, Blenheim.
On the 13th February 2022 I opened another Official Information Request (OIR) on the Marlborough District Council (MDC) entitled “Tony Hay – OIR No. 11 – Aftermath of major flooding event to hit Blenheim” - https://fyi.org.nz/request/18554-tony-ha...
I was so appalled by the MDC’s answers to my question on the OIR mentioned above that I thought it prudent to comment on how the MDC regards its ratepayers, myself included in a series of articles.
What climate change does … it makes extreme weather events more likely, makes them more extreme, and makes them more frequent. Unfortunately it seems that these facts have bypassed the MDC !
If we look at a comparison between the trees in the MSRMP/WARMP Heritage Sites plan against what is the proposed MEP Heritage Resources on Springlands Green on the SE corner of Battys Road and Middle Renwick Road what will be immediately apparent is that Council has decided to label a swag of existing trees as Notable Trees. If you visit the reserve, you will also notice that the location of the trees bears little relationship to where they actually reside.
Take for instance the Scarlet Oak which is in a non-threatening position on the plan. Its location is actually in a position should it be blown over, to cause substantial damage to the villas in the Lifestyle Village.
A responsible Council would say, ok we accept that climate change and a severe weather event can happen and to mitigate the impact on the retirees we will remove the offending trees threatening the Village and plant more appropriate size trees. Buildings are affected by leaves and debris, but perhaps more importantly sunlight and warmth, very important to retirees. This boils down to Council having no respect to the Health and Safety of their ratepayers, which ratepayers are entitled to.
It should be pointed out that a number of other trees in Springlands Green also threaten villas.
There are also 2 trees on the other side of Murphys Creek blocking out light and sunlight. Why these have not been removed or cut down in height, beats me!
Retirees would hope to be able to enjoy their later years in peace and comfort especially in a retirement village but I would suggest that the retirees who have villas on the northern boundary facing Council owned Springlands Green would not think they were getting a fair deal with protected trees blocking out sunlight and threating them “like the Sword of Damocles”.
I have to wonder whether Council have a grudge against the Springlands Lifestyle Village because it makes no sense to me.
Of course, this is hampered by Council NOT accepting that we are experiencing climate change and severe weather events even though we have had severe flooding events in recent times causing substantial damage to Marlborough’s roading network.
As a Council employee told me … it’s all down to cost. If a few people get killed or injured or property is damaged, or Marlborough’s Electricity Infrastructure is damaged, it’s just COLLATERAL. So what !
Why has the Council deemed it necessary to change the trees classification (from NOT protected to protected) when they already own the land?
One of the 2 Cherry trees is tagged, why not the other? What if any is their historical significance?
Does Council intend to remove trees that threaten the retiree’s villas and plant more appropriate ones and if not why not?
Is this yet another case of Council being adversely influenced by arborists to the detriment of the ratepayers of Marlborough?
Has anyone else made a complaint to Council about the location of the trees on Springlands Green?
Is it official Council policy to ignore Climate change and severe weather events effecting Marlborough trees causing death, injuries, property damage, and/or damage to Marlborough’s Electricity Infrastructure until it actually happens?
Does Council have a plan to address the issue of Notable Trees trees on ratepayer’s properties should ratepayers decide that a severe weather event places them and their houses at risk especially since it appears that Council have stated in OIR “Tony Hay – OIR No. 11 – Aftermath of major flooding event to hit Blenheim” “it hasn’t happened yet”, implying that Council intend to do nothing until it actually happens?
From: Tony Quirk-8077
Marlborough District Council
I refer to your email of 10 December and note the questions listed as
1. Why has the Council deemed it necessary to change the trees
classification (from NOT protected to protected) when they already own
The response from the Policy team was:
“Trees in Springlands Green were nominated for protection by members of
the local community in 2011. The Proposed Marlborough Environment Plan
has criteria for assessing notable trees and the nominations were assessed
by an independent arborist. The tenure of the land is not a relevant
consideration. The trees that met the criteria under this assessment were
included in the notified PMEP in 2016. Their inclusion was subject so
public submissions. No submissions were received on the Springlands Green
2. One of the 2 Cherry trees is tagged, why not the other? What if any
is their historical significance?
The response I received is:
“The second cherry tree was not recommended for protection by the
3. Does Council intend to remove trees that threaten the retirees’ villas
and plant more appropriate ones and if not, why not?
The response I received is:
“The premise identified in your question is not accepted. There are
criteria in the PMEP for assessing resource consent applications for
removal of notable trees. In Policy 10.2.3 there is reference to
considering any application to remove, etc ‘where the tree or trees have
become a danger to people’.”
4. Is this yet another case of Council being adversely influenced by
arborists to the detriment of the ratepayers of Marlborough?
This question is seen more as a statement by you.
5. Has anyone else made a complaint to Council about the location of the
trees on Springlands Green?
The Reserves section recall some complaints. For the most part the
complaints were triggered since the complainants were unaware of
background to establishment of the trees.
6. Is it official Council policy to ignore climate change and severe
weather events affecting Marlborough trees causing death, injuries,
property damage, and/or damage to Marlborough’s electricity
infrastructure until is actually happens?
7. Does Council have a plan to address the issue of Notable Trees on
ratepayer properties should ratepayers decide that a severe weather
event places them and their houses at risk especially since it appears
that Council have stated in OIR “Tony Hay – OIR No. 11 – Aftermath of
major flooding event to hit Blenheim” “it hasn’t happened yet”
implying that Council intend to do nothing until it actually happens?
Each situation is considered on the facts relevant to the specific
This completes the request.
Phone: 03 520 7400
15 Seymour Street, PO Box 443
Blenheim 7240, New Zealand
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