Builder Anthony Rowe has apologised publicly for felling 20 trees in the Tainui Reserve in Havelock North without council permission in August of this year.

Mr Rowe, director of Rowe Property Investments Limited, reached an agreement with the Hastings District Council earlier this week regarding restitution for the illegal felling.

The agreement requires Mr Rowe to pay for the clean-up and refurbishment of Tainui Reserve including the planting of 25 totara trees, at a cost of $8000.

He is also required to make a contribution of $7000 to the council (in lieu of a fine), to go towards increased landscaping of parks and reserves in Havelock North.


The agreement also requires Mr Rowe publicly apologises for his actions by having an agreed statement published in the local newspapers.

The statement ran in yesterday's Hawke's Bay Today.

"I, Anthony Rowe, unreservedly and sincerely apologise to the people of the Hastings District for the cutting down of pine trees at Tainui Reserve on 23rd August 2013. I now realise that my actions were illegal as I had not obtained consent from the Hastings District Council."

Mr Rowe wrote he hoped the payments made for cleaning up the site, replanting the trees and the donation to the council would go some way "towards atoning for my indiscretion".

Jessica Maxwell, who contacted the paper in August and lobbied Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule to take action, said she was very satisfied the council had taken the matter seriously.

"I've already spoken to a number of people in the reserve since the apology was made public and everybody is happy with the outcome."

She said she hopes the action taken by the council will deter others from doing the same thing.

"Everybody was absolutely disgusted, that was the view of a lot of people. Everybody hopes it will be a deterrent to other would-be tree fellers."