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Resource Consent North Shore

Trees and Bush Protection

Your role in protecting trees and bush in North Shore City

What trees doWhy do we need rules and policies?Which trees are protected and where?Minor PruningMeasuring the height and girth of your treeWorking near trees and bushWorking without resource consent where one is neededHow do I find out what species of tree I have and if it is protected?What will resource consent cost?
What trees do
  • Provide a home and food for birds, insects and other wildlife
  • Add nutrients to soil and prevent erosion
  • Reduce global warming by absorbing harmful greenhouse gases and releasing oxygen for us to breathe
  • Offer shade and shelter from the sun, wind and rain.
  • Help reduce stormwater runoff
  • Improve and maintain air quality
  • Add character to our homes, cities and environment

Trees and bush contribute to our quality of life and provide a variety of benefits to all living things. Our policies and rules are aimed at protecting significant trees and bush from damage and needless removal.

Why do we need rules and policies? Trees and bush play an important role in and for our community, and we need to continue to protect and preserve them. Our tree and bush protection rules follow many years of deciding on the best way in which to protect these invaluable assets. Trees add to the character of our growing city and support our city's biodiversity. The rules will ensure that trees are protected now and in the future.
Which trees are protected and where? Whether your tree or bush is protected depends on the zoning of your property and any special provisions or rules in our District Plan which apply to your property. You can contact our Environmental Services helpdesk on 486 8600 for more information or visit our website

Table A

Business Zones Special protection provisions in relation to Bute Road Bush, Landscape Amenity Yards and Table B
Residential 1, 2C, 3-7,Residential Expansion Zone and Albany and Greenhithe Structure Plan Area B, C and D, and Long Bay Structure Plan Native trees over 8m in height or 800mm in girth. Exotic trees over 10m high or 1m in girth and any of the following species over 15m high or 1.5m in girth (Casuarina/She-oak, Gum, Willow, Macrocarpa, Poplar, Norfolk Pine, Pine and Wattle).
Residential 2A, 2A1, 2B, Residential Expansion Zone, Rural 1 All continuous, naturally occuring native vegetation.
Rural 2-3, Structure Plan Area A All native vegetation (and all forestry activities in Rural 2-3).
Residential 2B All native trees over 6m in height or 600mm in girth and all exotic trees over 8m in height or 800mm in girth.
All Rural and Urban Expansion Zones Any native ground cover or vegtation, and ALL vegetation (native and exotic) within 20m of the centre line of any stream.
Structure Plan Area A, B, C, D & E Areas of continuous naturally occuring native vegetation in excess of 100m2.
Special Purpose Zones Special provisions apply in these zones and it is necessary that you contact the Council before undertaking works in these areas.
Long Bay Structure Plan Zone

All native vegetation and all exotics in excess of 10m in height and 1000mm in girth in any Landscape Protection Area and any Stormwater Management Zone.

More than one category may apply.

Table B

Special conditions apply to the following:
  • All trees on the Schedule of Notable Trees in Appendix 8C of the North Shore City District Plan
  • Vegetation in close proximity to a watercourse
  • All native vegetation within the Foreshore Yard
  • All vegetation within the Lake Side Yard (except weeds and lawn)
  • Pohutukawa over 3m in height in the Coastal Conservation Area and in the Lake Pupuke Site of Geological Significance 3
  • All vegetation on roads and reserves
  • Any vegetation protected by a covenant or a condition of consent.

More than one category may apply.

Minor Pruning You may carry out minor pruning to most of the trees in Table A without the need for consent but it is advised that you check with Council before starting works. Minor pruning is defined as removal of not more than 10% of the foliage in any one year, and not more than 25% over three years. Unless a branch is dead, it may notbe removed if it is more than 50mm in diameter.
Measuring the height and girth of your tree 'A tree may be protected based on either height or girth; it does not need to fulfill both criteria to attain protection status. Tree height can be measured with a retractable pole or estimated using nearby structures as a guide. To measure the girth of a tree you will need a measuring tape. Girth is measured by wrapping the tape around the trunk at 1.4 metres from the ground (on the uphill side of a tree if it is on a slope). For trees with multiple stems, add up the girth of every stem over 250mm in diameter for the cumulative girth.
Working near trees and bush

Works in the rootzone (see below) can cause severe damage to the root system through excavation, and the weight of parked vehicles and stored materials. The rootzone should be fenced off when any works are occurring near the tree. For advice of acceptable fencing standards, please contact an Environmental Services Arborist on 486 8600.

roots zone

Working without resource consent where one is needed

The District Plan protects vegetation, and anyone who breaches a rule in the Plan without resource consent is liable for the significant penalties under the Resource Management Act 1991, which include possible fines and imprisonment.

How do I find out what species of tree I have and if it is protected?

To identify the species of a tree and find out if it’s native or exotic, ask at your local garden centre, contact a professional arborist or ring the Environmental Services Helpdesk. This brochure can help you determine whether or not the tree is protected, or you can contact us. If the work you wish to do requires resource consent, then the helpdesk will be able to advise you of where to collect the relevant forms.


What will resource consent cost?

Resource consents are generally processed free of charge, although a report is sometimes required from a professional arborist. For publicly notified applications however, a proportion of the processing costs incurred by Council may be charged for. If resource consents are granted, they will have conditions such as ones which require that you replant trees on your property, enter into a bond agreement or establish a formal covenant.


Note: The tree and bush protection rules in this leaflet should be used as a guide only. For further information on any of the topics on this brochure, please contact our Environmental Services helpdesk on 486 8600.