23 Mar 2016

Kauri protester 'stoked' at avoiding jail

7:49 pm on 23 March 2016

An Auckland arborist who staged a protest up a kauri tree has been sentenced for trespassing and ordered to pay reparation to the owners of the land the tree is on.

Johno Smith has spent a week in the kauri tree in protest at its possible felling.

Johno Smith spent 13 days in the canopy of the kauri in Titirangi last December. Photo: RNZ / Tom Furley

Johno Smith spent 13 days in the canopy of the kauri in Titirangi last December.

He pleaded guilty in January, and was sentenced in the Waitakere District Court this afternoon to pay the landowners $1000.

He was stoked the sentence was not more severe, he said.

"There was a possibility of [land co-owner] John Lenihan wanted $20,000 of reparations out of me. There was a possibility of three months imprisonment," he said.

"The judge took everything into account, the reasons I was up there, the awareness that I generated, and yeah - I'm just stoked with the result actually."

Smith said the sentence would not deter him from similar protests in the future.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs