Sharechat Logo

Auckland developer Augustine Lau imprisoned for damaging native trees

Friday 26th January 2018

Text too small?

Auckland property developer Augustine Lau has been sentenced to two-and-a-half months’ prison for damaging seven protected native trees in 2014 after receiving multiple warnings from the local council.

Lau, who pleaded guilty to one charge of using land in contravention of regional and district rules under the Resource Management Act, was sentenced at the Auckland District Court earlier this week.

In June 2014, a contractor broke the trunks of three of the pohutukawa trees and one totara tree, and broke a number of large branches off three further pohutukawa trees, on Lau's instructions. The trees were protected by the operative Auckland Council District Plan: Rodney Section, and five were also protected by the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

"Auckland Council staff did everything they could to make Mr Lau aware of his responsibilities, including that he needed to stop with his plans of felling the native trees at the site," said Steve Pearce, Auckland Council’s manager of regulatory compliance, in a statement. "We visited the site a number of times to inspect the works being managed by Mr Lau. However, he persisted and, as a result, we issued an abatement notice requiring him to stop these works in October 2013."

"It is relatively uncommon for us to end up in the court, and even rarer for us to seek a sentence of imprisonment; however the deliberateness of his offending and the significance of the effects left us with no option."

Four of the trees were seriously damaged, to the point of dying as a result of the damage, while the other three trees were also heavily damaged. Some of the trees were found to be more than 100 years old.


  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares hit record amidst rebalancing, Comvita and Sky TV gain while Pushpay, A2 drop
NZ dollar heads for 0.5% weekly decline as risk aversion rises
RBNZ's Spencer tipped to stand pat in final review next week, repeat same message
Lyttelton Port rejects union claims as strike planned for next week
Storm CEO Deborah Caldwell buys women's clothing chain from Hallenstein
Govt to invest $5 mln in Northland wharves through regional fund
Veritas shareholders vote in favour of Mad Butcher sale
Failed fashion chain Andrea Moore & Co 'significantly overstated' value of inventory by $3.3M
UPDATE: NZ dairy manufacturer plans to list on ASX to raise up to A$20M for expansion
Bay of Islands Airport terminal upgrade to get $1.7M from govt's provincial growth fund

IRG See IRG research reports