Suburbs need trees. They are a source of food and shelter for birdlife, they improve the quality of the air we
breathe and they beautify our towns and landscapes.
But ... they also block the drains, disrupt walls and foundations, hide the view, cast long shadows, and from time to
time, fall down. Trees, especially other people's trees, can cause feelings to run very high.
If you're a landowner, the law says you have the right to the ordinary use and enjoyment of your land. However, your
neighbours also have this right. Nobody may interfere unreasonably with other people's use and enjoyment of their land.
This means you are responsible for ensuring your own trees do not cause problems for anyone else.
There are many factors that can be relevant in deciding what to do about a tree. Apart from health and safety issues,
and the benefits to be enjoyed by each party, there is also the public interest.
This includes the maintenance of a
pleasing environment; the desirability of protecting public reserves containing trees; the value of the tree as a
public amenity; any historical, cultural or scientific significance of the tree; and any likely effect on ground
stability, the water table or run-off.
If problems arise
If your neighbour's tree is causing problems, the first step is to talk to them. They may not even be aware of
your concerns. Give them the chance to fix things up, and look for a solution everyone will be reasonably happy with.
If, for example, you are worried about shading, it may be that the tree can be thinned rather than chopped down.
A mutually agreeable solution will almost certainly be preferable to a lengthy, costly and bitter legal battle.
For more information
For the names and addresses of suitably experienced and qualified tree removal or pruning contractors.
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While every endeavour has been taken by the Napier City Council to ensure that the information on this website is
accurate and up to date, Napier City Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or
indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith.
Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant
government agencies. Napier City Council take cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Where possible
we have tried to provide links to these government agencies for further reading.
Cadastral Information derived from Land Information New Zealands' Digital Cadastral DataBase (DCDB). CROWN
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