15 Feb 2013

Conviction over tree felling on council land

10:00 pm on 15 February 2013

A prominent South Island businessman has been found guilty in relation to the felling of more than 100 trees on Tasman District Council land.

Michael John Davies, whose family own tourism firm Trojan Holdings, denied approving an arborist to fell 110 trees next to his Kaiteriteri property in February last year.

Davies, who is from Arrowtown, faced two charges under the Reserves Act and Resource Management Act.

In the Nelson Environment Court on Friday, Judge Brian Dwyer found Davies guilty on one charge in relation to the felling. He will be sentenced on 7 March.

Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne is pleased at the verdict and told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Friday that residents were outraged by the trees being removed from the Stephens Bay reserve.

Mr Kempthorne says the council is considering options for restoring the area.