Notable trees are those that have historical, botanical or environmental value. Trees add to the visual amenity of areas within the District and can contribute grandeur, shelter and shade. They can give people a sense of place and are a connection to the past, which most people wish to retain.
In our District, 400 Oak trees were planted in 1919, one for each man or woman who left North Otago to serve during WWI and did not return. These memorial Oaks and other notable trees are protected by the District Plan.
► Council must protect historic heritage and this includes notable trees.
► For trees that are considered notable, new National Planning Standards require Council to provide a schedule that provides the specific location and species of the protected individual tree/ group of trees. The current plan does not include this information.
► Our Plan focuses protection on trees with heritage values.
► There is no separate tree schedule. Protected trees are ‘hidden’ amongst the heritage items, which tend to be predominantly buildings.
► The Plan notes that WWI Memorial Trees are protected, but these trees, numbering in their hundreds, are not provided on any schedule in the District Plan, or shown on the District Plan maps.
► There are no definitions of ‘trimming’ and ‘damaging’ in the RMA or Planning Standards, and Council may desire definitions in the Plan.
► Lack of provisions which enable trimming and removal of trees that are dead, diseased or present danger to the public.
Protected trees are identified in the Waitaki District Plan as significantly contributing to the district’s amenity and/or heritage. For a landowner, a protected tree under the District Plan provides peace of mind that the tree has a level of protection no matter who owns the property in the future.
DRAFT RESPONSES TO KEY ISSUES
► Amend the rules to enable trimming and removal of significant trees without consent where trees are dead, diseased or dangerous
► Provide a separate protected tree schedule, including the memorial Oaks and have all protected trees on District Plan maps.
► Amend the schedule of significant trees to remove protection for significant trees in rural area and on Council reserves to align with section 76 of the RMA and include protection of any new significant trees on private land identified by the community.
► Include definitions of ‘trimming’ and ‘damaging’ in the District Plan.