Face of the day

Michael Tavares

Michael Tavares

So what have we learned from today’s face of the day?

  • Private property laws can be trampled on.
  • Private Property owners who do everything legally can be bullied off their land by law breaking criminals.
  • The MSM can be counted on to give Criminal trespassers air time to advance their cause.
  • It is ok to break the law to get your own way.
  • The ends justifies the means
  • If you fail to buy a piece of land to preserve your views (after cutting down your own trees to build a pool) you can create an environmental incident to get rid of the new owners at no cost to yourself. Just ring your local Greenie activist and the job is practically done.
  • By breaking the law you can force a council to do a u-turn on a consent, thereby devaluing property at a huge emotional and financial cost to the owners.
  • Propaganda works. Call private owners ‘developers’ and then no one will care about their rights.

In a video posted to his Twitter account this afternoon, Mr Tavares said he is “back on solid ground, just heading into the New Lynn Police Station to have a little wee chat with them”.

While it’s still not certain the tree will be saved for good, after Auckland Council this morning refused to buy the land, Tavares told waiting media this afternoon that his protest had been a success.

“[The land owners] have the consent to fell it, they haven’t surrendered that yet. We’re hopeful that they will, but negotiations can now take place and we have guarantees from them that the trees are safe while those negotiations take place.”

Mr Tavares today blamed the Resource Management Act and says it must be change…
Land owners John Lenihan and Jane Greensmith, who also had permission to chop down a 300-year-old Rimu to make way for private housing, released an open letter today saying the tree is safe provided they are fairly compensated for their land.

They said they had opened discussion with Auckland Council, Vector, Iwi and Treescape. Auckland Council and Vector have both since said they won’t be buying the land.

Auckland Council will instead undertake a review into the granting of resource consent to chop the tree down, “with the specific and sole purpose of identifying matters that could be improved in future”. The results of the review will be reported back on April 16.

“I welcome the developers’ offer to enter into a conversation with council and the community,” deputy mayor Penny Hulse said, adding the council will “see if we can make the site work for them.”

Vector said it was disappointed a confidential conversation with the owners had been made public.

“The owners have chosen not to respect that confidentiality and as a result Vector sees no potential for further engagement with the owners on this matter.”

Mr Lenihan and Ms Greensmith said they wanted to find a solution where “no-one loses everything but we all compromise”.

“Let’s take Jane and I out of the equation and give us fair compensation for our land and efforts to date as we have not broken the law and we need to encourage others to build and not be punished,” the letter read. “Let’s respect the laws we have and try to improve them in the future.”