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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22888
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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My question is in respect to a boundary common stand of trees.

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My question is in respect to a boundary common stand of trees. The neighbour considers that the trees are a hedge and prefers the hedge to be removed or topped to below 3 metres, for reasons of shade on the property during winter, the shade causing greening, and he considers the wetness to be a risk to his disability child. The trees are well over 3 metres tall, were there when he and I purchased our properties (him after us), they provide a wind break from the strong westerlies to our house, which is built on sloping land, and they provide privacy for us and the people below us, such that we do not look into their properties and them into ours. The neighbour has approached us to consider the options. What are our options??

Chris The Lawyer : Hi and welcome. My first response will follow shortly. Please feel free to follow up if anything is not clear.
Chris The Lawyer : He can apply to the District Court to trim the trees if he can make a case for excessive shading or other nuisance caused by the height, such as possible damage from falling branches or leaves.
Chris The Lawyer : The evidence would need to show under section 335 as follows
Chris The Lawyer : (a)the order is fair and reasonable; and(b)the order is necessary to remove, prevent, or prevent the recurrence of—(i)an actual or potential risk to the applicant’s life or health or property, or the life or health or property of any other person lawfully on the applicant’s land; or(ii)an undue obstruction of a view that would otherwise be enjoyed from the applicant’s land, if that land may be used for residential purposes under rules in a relevant proposed or operative district plan, or from any building erected on that land and used for residential purposes; or(iii)an undue interference with the use of the applicant’s land for the purpose of growing any trees or crops; or(iv)an undue interference with the use or enjoyment of the applicant’s land by reason of the fall of leaves, flowers, fruit, or branches, or shade or interference with access to light; or(v)an undue interference with any drain or gutter on the applicant’s land, by reason of its obstruction by fallen leaves, flowers, fruit, or branches, or by the root system of a tree; or(vi)any other undue interference with the reasonable use or enjoyment of the applicant’s land for any purpose for which it may be used under rules in the relevant proposed or operative district plan; and

Thanks Chris.
The trees grow tall and close in structure, they therefore do not have spreading branches. Can the trees be deemed a hedge when they are obviously well over 3 m tall?

Chris The Lawyer : The law doesn't really differentiate between a hedge and trees. The issue is whether they are causing a problem

Thanks Chris

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