The slashing back of a large amount of mature mangroves in Orewa Estuary is under investigation by Auckland Council following a number of complaints from local residents.
Two large piles of what appear to be cut mangroves appeared alongside the estuary last month. There is a patch along the foreshore where all the mangroves appear to have been removed.
Council’s compliance investigations North team leader David Pawson says Council received complaints from members of the public regarding the felling of the mangroves.
“We are investigating and do not believe that this act was carried out by Auckland Council contractors,” he says.
Council rules only permit mangroves that are less than 60cm tall to be hand pulled, within certain parameters. In addition, Orewa estuary has been identified for its significant ecological values and has Coastal Area Protection 1 status.
Mr Pawson says potential enforcement ranges from education to prosecution. Penalties would be for the court to impose, but section 339 of the Resource Management Act provides a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment or a fine up to $300,000 if convicted.
If anyone has any information on this incident please phone Council on 09 301 0101.