Plan Change 2 - Protected trees

​​Proposed change to the Waipā District Plan

​Trees are a significant part of our towns; they soften the landscape, contribute to a sense of heritage and are an important habitat for a range of different species. We believe trees make-up a huge part of our communities and want to e​nsure we’re protecting the best trees in the best locations.

What happens now?

We have 126 protected trees on private land across Waipā. Most of these are in Cambridge and date back from early European settlement. Trees are inspected, evaluated and scored by an arborist using the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (RNZIH) tree evaluation method. All protected trees are listed in our District Plan.

As our towns have grown and developed, some of our protected trees that were once on large rural sections are now on small urban sections or commercial sites. This means the tree no longer suits the environment it is growing in.

The second issue is the current RNZIH scoring system does not take into account the impact (negative or positive) a tree has on the people, activity or environment where it is located. For example, although a tree may have high historic value it could have a negative impact on the people or activity around it.

What are we proposing?

We’re proposing to:

  • Move from the current Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (RNZIH) scoring system to the Standard Tree Evaluation Method (STEM). STEM is used by most Council’s across New Zealand and is widely accepted by the industry as best practice.
    • ​​STEM evaluates a tree based on its health, form, age, location, rarity and historic value.
  • Introduce a 120 STEM score threshold for when a tree becomes protected
  • Introduce a 138 STEM score threshold for when the removal of a protected tree needs to be publically notified. A tree that scores 138 STEM points or less will be considered on a non-notified basis.
  • Add additional criteria for assessing tree removal applications, including an assessment of hardship to nearby residents and damage or harm to nearby buildings, services or property.​
  • Providing protected tree owners with the ability to carry out limited pruning on their protected tree.
  • Changing from a ‘non-complying’ status to a ‘discretionary consent’ status for tree removal applications.
We rescored all the protected trees to see how this new STEM evaluation and threshold would impact protected trees across Wai. From the 126 trees, here’s what would happen:
  • 79 trees would retain their protection status.
  • 40 trees would lose their protection status.
  • 7 trees have already been removed through disease, damage or a consent process.​​
Please note: the figures above are different to what was quoted in the printed flier distributed earlier.

View the full list of tree scores: Plan Change 2 - list of tree scores

Have your say

You may make a submission by:​

The submission must be in Form 5 and must state whether or not you wish to be heard on your submission.

Submissions close 5pm Friday, 18 January 2019.

Public notice

Process for public participation

After submissions have closed Waipa District Council will prepare a summary of decisions requested by submitters and give public notice of the availability of this summary and where both the summary and submissions can be viewed.

  • There will be an opportunity for the following people to make a further submission in support of, or opposition to, the submissions already made:
    • anyone representing a relevant aspect of the public interest
    • any person who has an interest in the proposal greater than the general public has
    • Waipa District Council.
  • If someone making a submission asks to be heard in support of their submission, a hearing must be held.
  • Waipa District Council must give its decision on the provisions and matters raised in the submissions (including its reasons for accepting or rejecting submissions) and give public notice of its decision within two years of notifying the Plan Change and serve it on everyone who made a submission at the same time.
  • Anyone who has made a submission has the right to appeal against the decision of the Plan Changes to the Environment Court if in relation to a provision or matter that is the subject of the appeal, the person referred to the provision or matter in the person’s submission on the Plan Changes.

For more information on the plan changes email or telephone 0800 924 723.​

Page reviewed: 28 Nov 2018 2:02pm