Far North animal rescue advocate Donna Badorek is "infuriated and upset" after receiving more council demands for compliance on her property.
The vet nurse, who runs Donna Doolittle's Animal Rescue in Kaitāia, has received numerous letters from Far North District Council stating she must get resource consent for her and her mother's tiny homes after someone reported them to the authorities.
The latest letter came on February 11 saying the earthworks carried out at the property is also in breach of the district plan.
Badorek now has the option of getting resource consent or reinstating the earthworks to its original state.
Yet in September the council granted her $6500 in an infrastructure grant so she could tidy up the land in order to erect the kennels and cat enclosure.
"At the moment we're still working through the list of things that need to be done," she said.
"But they keep throwing more stuff at us. It's really incredibly upsetting."
Badorek and her mum Jacqueline sold their own houses a few years ago and a bought a piece of land so they could build a larger kennel complex with upgraded facilities to rescue more animals.
Most of the money from their house sales went into the 4.5ha block and there was "a bit left over" to put two small roofs over their own heads.
Badorek put a 28 sq m tiny home on the site, and her mum lives nearby in a 48 sq m container home.
Badorek said over the last few years she has rehomed more than 2000 animals and prevented many from going to the council pound.
"I'm helping the council so much, and working together to clean up the streets of Kaitaia so we can reduce the amount of neglect and abuse.
"I'm taking in so much of what would probably go through their doors.
"The council are failing us. I want them to step up and acknowledge what we've done for our community and help us get through this."
Council district services general manager Dr Dean Myburgh said the council "values highly the animal rescue work undertaken by Donna Badorek and the social good she provides".
"The District Plan, Building Act and the Resource Management Act apply to all property owners equally," he said.
"The council's role is to apply those rules.
"It would never be appropriate for the council to base decisions solely on an individual's contributions to the community – good or bad."
Badorek said she's looking at thousands of dollars to comply with 19 requirements, including resource consents, site visits, earthworks and approval for her composting toilet.
She is thankful for the "phenomenal" amount of community support, including offers of help from architects and planners.
A Givealittle page has raised $8350 in the last two weeks.
"That money will help us get the resource consent done and lodge it with the council at least.
"The most expensive things of all are their requirements in the Building Act."
Any money left over would "go straight into helping animals", Badorek said.
However, she still questions why she has to meet so many conditions, when she has two tiny homes on 4ha of land.
Last May Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa scrapped building consents for low-risk building work to free up the construction sector for higher value work to help the country's recovery from Covid-19.
That means single-storey detached buildings up to 30 square metres do not require a council-approved building consent.
Myburgh said all applications received by the council for building more than one dwelling (a stand-alone home with bathroom and kitchen facilities) on site are reviewed against the requirements of the district plan to determine the need for a resource consent.
"In this instance, there is more then one dwelling and potentially a breach of district plan rules."
Te Hiku ward councillor Felicity Foy said she would work with Badorek to "get these issues resolved".
But she didn't think the council was being unfair.
"When someone makes a complaint, council is obliged to investigate.
"I will have a meeting with staff to work through those matters and will address matters in the letter which relate to the Building Act.
"As an elected member I recognise those things she does for the community.
"It's not a good situation when she does so much for the community."