‘Check before you chop’

Council urges to check before the tree gets the chop

From Auckland Council:

‘Check before you chop’ trees advice still rules

‘Check before you chop’ is still the best advice following changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) which sees the vast majority of trees on private ‘urban’ properties in the city no longer protected.

The law change, which comes into effect on 4 September 2015, is a direct result of government amendments to the RMA in 2013, which lifted blanket tree protection in urban areas.

Penny Pirrit, Auckland Council’s General Manager of Plans & Places, says the changes to the RMA do not allow the council to re-introduce general tree protection rules.

“Through changes to the RMA over the last few years, we are unable to include any general tree protection rules on most ‘urban’ sites.

“Exceptions to this include notable or ‘scheduled’ trees (which are listed in the district plans), trees within reserves, any area subject to a conservation management plan or conservation management strategy, and trees within a Significant Ecological Area (SEA). These trees will continue to be protected under the Unitary Plan.”

Aucklanders are being urged to ‘Check before you Chop’ and seek advice from the council before felling or damaging a protected tree, to avoid possible enforcement action.

“There may be reasons why your trees are protected, even if you live within a built-up area. If you are uncertain whether trees on your land are protected, please call the council on (09) 301 0101 for assistance,” she says.

Trees in the Hauraki Gulf Islands, streets and parks will remain protected under the Resource Management Act after 4 September because they don’t meet the Act’s definition of ‘urban environment’.

For further information go to aucklandcouncil.govt.nz and search ‘tree rules’.

Further Information 

  • The full definition of an urban environment from the RMA is as below:

* – urban environment allotment or allotment means an allotment within the meaning of section 218

(a) that is no greater than 4000 m2; and

(b) that is connected to a reticulated water supply system and a reticulated sewerage system; and

(c) on which there is a building used for industrial or commercial purposes or as a dwelling house; and

(d) that is not reserve (within the meaning of section 2(1) of the Reserves Act 1977) or subject to a conservation management plan or conservation management strategy prepared in accordance with the Conservation Act 1987 or the Reserves Act 1977.

  • The definition of a notable or scheduled tree is where it is specifically listed, along with its location, in a district plan or unitary plan.
  • There are currently over 6000 scheduled trees and groups of trees in Auckland


Nothing worse than this now is there?

AT giving the chop