Auckland Council has welcomed an Auckland District Court decision to fine Motukaha Investments Ltd $9000 for excessive helicopter flights to Cable Bay Vineyard, Waiheke.
Motukaha Investments, which owns the property that is home to Cable Bay Vineyard, pleaded guilty to allowing helicopter flights to its property that significantly exceeded the number allowed by the Auckland District Plan.
Auckland Council prosecuted Motukaha Investments after receiving several complaints about the number of helicopter flights visiting and leaving the vineyard, and for the company’s failure to comply with an abatement notice.
The company was permitted no more than 10 aircraft movements in any 30-day period and no more than eight movements in a seven-day period.
During the period from 19 December 2014 to 25 February 2015, there were a significant number of helicopter flights that the court found as being well in excess of both the seven-day and 30-day limits.
In one 30-day period, 36 movements were confirmed, In a second 30-day period 42 movements were confirmed.
Auckland Council Resource Consents Compliance Manager, Steve Pearce, says that business owners and managers must find out what their obligations are under the Resource Management Act, and comply with these obligations.
“It is really important that anyone who receives an abatement notice complies with it,” he says. “In the decision, the judge emphasised that the failure to comply with these notices is a serious matter.”
Waiheke residents also played a part in providing information about excess helicopter flights to the council.
“Without co-operation from the nearby residents it would have been very hard for us to get the evidence required for us to put a stop to this,” says Mr Pearce.
“We encourage residents to get in touch with us if they have any concerns about activities in their neighbourhoods that might not comply with a consent or the district plan.”