David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.

Dog lover's issues reach Tauranga

Cherie de St Croix with her dog Ted are headed to the Bay of Plenty to live. Photo / Doug Sherring
Cherie de St Croix with her dog Ted are headed to the Bay of Plenty to live. Photo / Doug Sherring

A dog owner at war with her Auckland neighbours has progressed to a new home - and a brand new controversy - a little further south.

When the Weekend Herald introduced readers to Ms de St Croix last weekend, she talked of the battle with neighbours in Orakei which had led to a police investigation over her application to keep two dogs at her home. It was an inquiry she claimed came out of a class war: "We own a Porsche. I don't work and my husband's a qualified doctor. That's why they hate us."

In contrast, neighbours talked of constant barking and a dog permit application form which carried their names even though they had never given consent.

Well, it turns out Ms de St Croix is moving - and she's already embattled with her new neighbours in one of Tauranga's leafier suburbs.

Ms de St Croix and her fertility therapist husband Dr Andrew Glazier are just weeks away from moving into a second home bought in 2014 through a company they jointly own.

It means an unexpected move for their tenants Scott and Brooke Nicholls and their three children, who say they will miss living in a place where they get on well with their neighbours.

It's a happy reality that was briefly dispelled a few weeks before Christmas when Mr Nicholls was visiting neighbour David Ford for a chat. His neighbour's wife Joanne stepped in, saying to Mr Nicholls: "You guys have put a trespass order against us and so you probably shouldn't be on the property."

Mr Nicholls was taken aback. So were the Fords when they were earlier served a trespass order claiming "alleged trespass and harassment". The trespass notice, emailed from Ms de St Croix and Dr Glazier, said the Fords were banned from the neighbouring property on pain of a $1000 fine or a maximum of three months in prison.

"We all get on really well," said Mr Ford.

The document, obtained by the Weekend Herald, lists Ms de St Croix and Dr Glazier as having the Nicholls' permission to act on their behalf to have the trespass notice served.

We own a Porsche. I don't work and my husband's a qualified doctor. That's why they hate us.
Cherie de St Croix

It came with an email and followed Ms de St Croix's opposition to works planned for a driveway owned by the Fords, which also serves the property in which the Nicholls lived. Emails show she also peppered Mr Ford's employer with a string of allegations. The trespass order, coming on top of the emails, led the Fords to seek advice from police.

Senior Constable Jane Holmes rang Mr Nicholls, confirming he had no knowledge of the notice, and then wrote to Ms de St Croix: "Scott told me that he had no reason to trespass the Fords, and had no issue with them as neighbours, or with you as a landlord."

Ms Holmes told Ms de St Croix she had "real concerns regarding the content of your frequent emails", including those to Mr Ford's employer. "I would ask that you immediately cease contact with Mr [and] Mrs Ford, including phone calls or defamatory and threatening emails."

Three days before Christmas, the Nicholls family was given notice to move out - Ms de St Croix and Dr Glazier, and the dogs, are moving in.

Neighbours spoken to in Orakei, while pleased, are due to face her in court next week over a fencing dispute she instigated.

In emails this week, Ms de St Croix thanked the Weekend Herald for a "great piece" about the Orakei conflict, but said reaction to it was such that "Auckland [was a] no-go zone for me or my family".

But she did not wish to discuss the Tauranga issues.

A spokeswoman for police said the investigation into the "alleged dog permit fraud" was ongoing. "We are looking into a number of other matters which have been brought to our attention during the course of this investigation."

- NZ Herald

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