Iconic hedge hacked by Kapiti Council

From Checkpoint, 5:56 pm on 7 June 2017

A 90-year-old macrocarpa hedge has been cut back by the Kāpiti Coast District Council after the owner was told to cut the hedge himself back in January, but failed to do so.

Vince Osborne said he was in Wellington today when the council arrived at his Waikanae property to cut a corridor at the bottom of the hedge to provide a footpath, after complaints from neighbours about safety.

The council said it took action today because Mr Osborne was told to cut the hedge himself back in January and failed to do.

But Mr Osborne disputed there were any safety issues. He said the hedge was planted by his grandfather back in the 1930s, and he was gutted.

He said the hedge had been "hacked" at the bottom by a tractor without the care an arborist might have taken.

He believed the council would return to trim it back even further and was hopeful that the hedge would survive the brutal cut-back.

"It just looks bloody awful," he said.

Neighbours had complained about difficulty seeing around the trees while turning out of their properties, and the council wanted the hedge cut back to create a footpath on that side of the road, Mr Osborne said.

Mr Osborne said his grandfather would be furious about the trim.

"He'd be pissed off like I am, like we all are."

Mr Osborne described the council's approach to the situation as "like living in a Hitler state".

"They just dictate what they think is correct and don't listen to anybody else and they do what they want to do."