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$20,000 in fines for illegal gorge earthworks

A Wellington developer and a contractor have been fined $10,000
each in the District Court after pleading guilty to undertaking
illegal earthworks on a hillside above the entrance to the Ngauranga
Gorge.

Primeproperty Group Limited and Morepork Holdings (2004) Limited
both earlier pleaded guilty to using a bulldozer to cut tracks
on the hillside above Jarden Mile and the Hutt Road in contravention
of the Resource Management Act. The prosecution had been pursued
by Wellington City Council.

Last Friday 10 September, Judge Thompson convicted and fined
the companies $10,000 each for the offence. Wellington City Council
will receive 90% of the fines.

The City Council’s Development Planning and Compliance Manager,
Warren Ulusele, today welcomed the fact the companies had been
convicted and fined. “This sends a strong message to the development
community that they cannot go ahead and start works like this
without the proper approvals.

“Such approvals are obviously only designed to be given once
the potential effects of earthworks have been examined and mitigated.
This is all about maintaining things like hillside stability
and avoiding inappropriate removal of vegetation.”

Resource consent has since been granted for the earthworks undertaken
on the Jarden Mile site. The resource consent process allowed
the Council to gain more detailed information regarding the earthworks
e.g. geotechnical engineers report.

Mr Ulusele says the fines will be used to offset the costs associated
with undertaking the prosecution.

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