A man has been fined $80,000 and looks likely to lose his house for the crime of cutting a path down to the beach on what appears to be his own land. I say "appears" because the bloody journalist who covered this outrage didn't see fit to clearly establish whether or not the land on which the path was cut was the "offender's" property or not -- such things being considered irrelevant in these days in which obeisance must be paid to entire communities for the sin of cutting down one's own trees on one's own property, and thereby offending the Great Earth God Gaia.
The journalist did however see fit to tell us that this is considered "high end offending"; that the area's mayor called it "severe offending and the worst [our] Council has seen"; and to report the judge's comment that it "looked as though a large slice had been cut out of a living organism and its entrails spilled out on the foreshore."
Good to see that District Court judges have retained their objectivity despite administering a nasty non-objective law -- ie., the Resource Management Act, under which the prosecution and fine were taken.
The RMA, by the way, was introduced by the National Party. Just so you know. And the beach in question, just so you know, is Glenbrook Beach on the Manukau Harbour -- a muddy sort of a beach just up the road from that notable environmental destination the Glenbrook Steel Mill -- and as the report concedes "the esplanade [itself] was inaccessible to anyone because it was covered in gorse and tree stumps, and the coast was already compromised with accessways for boat ramps." This is the "living organism" whose "entrails" have been so so "recklessly" spilled.
"We have three kids, and they want to get down to the beach," says the poor sap who's about to lose his house. "It was just for access from the property." He'll know better then to offend Gaia next time he saves up enough to buy his own property, won't he.