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Tauranga City Plan

6B.1  Objectives and Policies for the Notable Tree and Significant Group of Trees Provisions

Updated 2 December 2017

6B.1.1 Objective - Notable Trees

The factors, values and associations that define the City's notable trees are identified and protected.

6B.1.1.1 Policy - Assessing Notable Trees

By assessing notable trees and their factors, values and associations to which the following standard tree evaluation method (STEM) criteria are met:
  1. Condition (Health)
    1. Form of tree
      1. Botanical assessment of the tree. To obtain the most points, the tree should be reliable in structure and be a good example of the species. A comparison of known examples of local trees within a district of the same species would be the reference for awarding points under this section.
    2. Occurrence of the species
      1. This criterion is an assessment of botanical detail and prompts the recognition of native species. The range for assessing the occurrence of a species would be based on the number of trees within the local district boundary.
    3. Vigour and vitality
      1. An assessment of the health of the tree. Trees in maturity can display vitality, while younger trees can show greater vigour in their growth rates.
    4. Function (Usefulness)
      1. Trees are assessed for their usefulness which could include such factors as flowers, fruit or foliage, physical usefulness (for example screening noise, soil stabilisation, recycling of nutrients) or conservation factors such as providing a shelter or food source for wildlife.
    5. Age
      1. An estimate of the tree's age at the time of evaluation.
  2. Amenity (Community Benefit)
    1. Stature
      1. The height or width of the tree is measured, whichever is the greatest size.
    2. Visibility of the tree
      1. The importance of the position of a tree is used to identify trees which contribute as a visual feature in both suburban, urban, rural-residential and rural environments. A measurement is made of the furthest distance that the tree can be seen from any observation point of 0.5km, 1km, 2km, 4km or 8+km.
      2. Proximity of other trees
        1. Whether the tree is seen visually as a solitary specimen or part of a group.
      3. Role in setting
        1. A tree or trees' value in a setting or as part of a composition. Assesses how a particular scene or place look without the tree and describes a tree's streetscape or open space merit.
  3. Notable (Distinction)
    1. Climatic influences
      1. The effect of the tree on the surrounding microclimate.
    2. Stature (feature and form)
      1. Whether the tree is outstanding for its species because of its form, large trunk diameter, height, canopy spread or makes a contribution to its locality or the wider landscape.
    3. Historic (age, association, commemorative, remnant, relic)
      1. Authoritative and well-documented age of over 50 years, planted to commemorate, or associated with an historic event or person, remnant of native forest or exotic tree plantation or existing in an environment which has changed from that which is typical for that tree species.
    4. Scientific (source, rarity, endangered)
      1. Exceptional species qualities or generic derivation, authenticated evidence of their rarity, is threatened, or represents a species rare in the region or New Zealand.

6B.1.1.2 Policy - Identifying Notable Trees

By identifying notable trees in accordance with Policy 6B.1.1.1 - Assessing Notable Trees where the following standard tree evaluation method score is met:
  1. Native Trees - 130 standard tree evaluation method points or greater;
  2. Exotic Trees - 150 standard tree evaluation method points or greater.

6B.1.1.3 Policy - Protecting Notable Trees

By protecting the particular factors, values and associations of notable trees from inappropriate subdivision, use and development, by assessing:

  1. The need for emergency removal;
  2. The extent that any proposed pruning or damage will adversely affect the health of the tree and the surrounding landscape character of the area in which the tree is located;
  3. The potential adverse effects on the health of the tree, from the nature and extent of any proposed activities to be undertaken within the drip-line of the tree.

6B.1.1.4 Policy - Assessing the Removal of a Notable Tree

By restricting the removal of notable trees, to ensure there are no adverse effects resulting from:

  1. The loss of a best example of a species within the context of a local, regional, national or international scale;
  2. The loss of the surrounding landscape character of the area in which the tree is located;
  3. The loss of any heritage value.

6B.1.1.5 Policy - Removal or Amendment of an Item on the Notable Trees Register

Appendix 6E: Register of Notable Trees shall be amended and updated without undue formality where:

  1. A resource consent has been granted to remove an item from Appendix 6E: Register of Notable Trees;
  2. A resource consent has been granted to alter an item on Appendix 6E: Register of Notable Trees;
  3. The underlying legal description for that notable tree changes.

6B.1.2 Objective - Significant Groups of Trees

The factors, values and associations that define the City's significant groups of trees are identified and protected.

6B.1.2.1 Policy -Assessing and Identifying Significant Groups of Trees

By assessing and identifying significant groups of trees where the following criteria are met:

  1. At least one tree in that group complies with Policy 6B.1.1.2 - Identifying Notable Trees;
  2. The group must comprise individual trees that are physically close to each other or which form a collective or functional unity through meeting at least one of the following criteria:
    1. Canopies are touching; or
    2. Canopies are overlapping; or
    3. Canopies are not further than 5 metres apart;
  3. The trees in the group must:
    1. Have a height of at least 15 metres or more; or
    2. Have a single trunk diameter (measured at 1.4m above ground level) of 300mm or more; or
    3. Have an aggregate trunk diameter of 300mm or more (measured at 1.4m above ground level) measured from a total of up to three trunks;
  4. The group must comprise of trees that are clearly visible as part of the group and able to be distinguished to the extent that they contribute to the amenity or functionality of the surrounding area and the City's landscape character;
  5. The group shall exclude any plant pest species identified by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Phoenix palms less than 10 metres in height.

6B.1.2.2 Policy - Protecting Significant Groups of Trees

By protecting trees that form significant groups of trees from inappropriate subdivision, use and development by assessing:

  1. The need for emergency removal;
  2. The extent that any proposed pruning or damage will adversely affect:
    1. health of the tree and the health of the wider group; and
    2. the amenity values, functionality and surrounding landscape character of the area in which the trees are located;
  3. The potential adverse effects on the health of the tree(s) and the wider group, from the nature and extent of any proposed activities to be undertaken within the drip-line of the tree.

6B.1.2.3 Policy - Assessing the Removal of a Tree forming part of a Significant Group of Trees

By restricting the removal of trees within a significant group of trees to ensure there are no adverse effects:

  1. On surrounding amenity, functionality and landscape character values;
  2. On the health of the remaining trees within the group;
  3. On any ecological or conservation values the group may have;
  4. On any other useful function the group may perform.

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