Waikouaiti resident Dylan Neill is unhappy after
contractors cut down trees in an area different from that
identified to community members as where the felling would
occur. Photo by Craig Baxter.
An angry Waikouaiti local says residents were lied to
about a plan to cut down trees next to the community's beach.
Dylan Neill and Liz Evans, of Waikouaiti, said Dunedin City
Council contractors started by cutting down trees south of an
area which they had been told about by Waikouaiti Coast
This comes after the council and community board agreed to
several changes to its initial plan after community members
objected to a plan to fell the trees in two stages over
concerns it it would leave people battered by wind and sand.
Ms Evans said the decision to cut down trees outside the area
the community members were told would be felled had destroyed
any goodwill brought about by the board consulting with
''They are just lying to us left, right and centre. It's not
good enough,'' she said.
The community was told trees would be cut down in the
southern section of the main stretch of forest, but they had
started by cutting down an outlying section.
Mr Neill said the area where they were felling trees was a
salt marsh, which was a ''really rare piece of real estate
He feared the fact contractors built roads to the site would
attract vehicle users who would ''tear'' it up.
''Plus, the public doesn't really access that area. It's not
really a safety issue; if the trees fall down, the trees fall
down,'' he said.
Community board chairman Gerard Collings said the focus of
consultation was on ''the main plantation, the outlying areas
have always been ancillary to the main felling programme''.
''The reason why the northern outlying areas are being felled
this year, is to allow staff to assess the regeneration of
[plants] before the balance of the outlying areas are
felled,'' he said.
He accepted this could have been better communicated to
residents, but said there was no attempt to mislead people.