Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne is pleased an Arrowtown
businessman has been found guilty in the Environment Court
for his part in the felling of more than 100 trees near
Michael John Davies, of Arrowtown, appeared in the
Environment Court at Nelson yesterday and was found guilty of
one charge in relation to the felling at Stephens Bay last
In a statement published on the Tasman District Council
website yesterday, Mr Kempthorne said the outcome of the
court case was pleasing.
He said the council was considering ways of restoring the
area affected by the felling.
''A landowner was today found guilty for his role in the
chopping down of over a hundred trees and shrubs in an
adjoining scenic reserve. Councils throughout the country
develop and/or manage reserves within their areas as part of
the public estate.
''The many reserves throughout Tasman, used and treasured by
residents and visitors alike, are often the defining feature
of areas that go to make up the attractiveness of the
district,'' he said.
The ''dismay and outrage'' expressed by residents and
visitors about the felling was compounded when it became
apparent it had been ''obviously preventable'' by the
landowner, Mr Kempthorne said.
''The court's findings are pleasing in this regard,'' he
He thanked ''residents'' for their time and evidence, which
''played an important role'' in the outcome.
''They, like the council, will be awaiting the court's
decision regarding the sentencing.''
A woman at Davies' Arrowtown address told the Otago Daily
Times he was not available for comment last night.
Davies initially faced two charges under the Reserves Act and
Resource Management Act, which he denied, when it was alleged
he gave an arborist approval to fell 110 trees on headland
reserve near his Kaiteriteri crib.
Davies is a director of his family's firm, Trojan Holdings,
which has substantial tourism and property interests. The
family's wealth is estimated to be about $90 million.
Davies is due to be sentenced on March 7.