30 Mar 2021

Man prosecuted for ignoring kauri dieback rāhui in Waitākere Ranges

7:44 pm on 30 March 2021

A west Auckland man who ignored kauri dieback rules has been found guilty of breaking the law.

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Photo: RNZ / Joanna MacKenzie

Robert Armitstead was caught entering closed tracks in Auckland's Waitākere Ranges several times in 2019.

He argued that the area he was in was not park land.

"It absolutely was," Auckland Council general manager environmental services for Rachel Kelleher told Checkpoint.

It was during routine compliance work that the man was found and spoken to, she said.

"We do not want to be taking these types of prosecutions, our preference is that people do the right thing and what we do see is most people are absolutely playing their part in helping us protect our magnificent kauri forest.

"But in situations like this when you've got an individual that despite the warnings continued to access a closed area and showed no regard for the damage they could cause, then we want to hold them to account."

Since April 2019, 139 people have been issued trespass notices, Kelleher said.

There are 21 tracks which have been reopened since closing in 2018. In total there are over 50 tracks open in the ranges.

"Stick to the tracks which are open."

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