An earthworks contractor has been fined $25,000 for illegally clearing thousands of metres of protected native bush and a gecko habitat on Waiheke Island.
Brian Saward was fined by the Environment Court for illegally clearing 8610m of land near Carson's Road in late 2011.
The earthworks were brought to Auckland Council's attention in January last year.
Enforcement officers ordered a halt to the work and conducted an investigation into the destruction.
Council resource consents manager Heather Harris said the action of the council, and the decision of the Environment Court, illustrated their commitment to protecting Auckland's environment and the significance of the penalties that might result from illegal works.
People wishing to undertake earthworks, or bush/tree works, in the Auckland Region were encouraged to contact the council before undertaking any work to find out whether consent is required, Ms Harris said.