There is to be no reckoning until February for the house-moving company that left a trail of damage along the Whangārei harbour coastline.
That will be three months after Highway Housemovers owner Mick Daly allegedly damaged a bridge, trees and road signs on the road to McLeod Bay while moving a house.
By that time, Whangārei District Council will be halfway through the time it legally has available to take enforcement action. The law says charges must be filed with the District Court within six months of the incident occurring.
Daly, an owner of Highway Housemovers, is believed to be behind the trail of destruction while moving a house from Kamo out to McLeod Bay.
Read more: Mick Daly's alleged trail of destruction
On the night of December 2, it is alleged Daly seriously damaged Whangārei's Te Matau ā Pohe lift bridge, including four damaged cameras, a totem pole pushed out of alignment and two damaged barrier arms.
He also admitted to cutting down several road signs along Whangārei Heads Rd before he was stopped by police the next morning in Parua Bay.
Daly resumed his journey the following night, allegedly bringing down powerlines, and cutting down and damaging McLeod Bay pōhutukawa trees as he delivered the house to its new address on Stuart Rd.
The incident prompted investigations from the council, Northland Police and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
Council senior communications adviser Ann Midson said contractors had completed most of the necessary repairs to the road signs and bridge, with the remaining repairs expected in coming days.
Midson said the council would seek compensation from Highway Housemovers once WDC had received a final cost for the damages.
She said an arborist was assessing the damage to the trees and would compile a report for the council.
Midson said a full council meeting would be required to decide whether criminal prosecution was initiated. Despite there being a full council meeting on December 17, Midson said there wasn't enough time to analyse the full scale of the damage to make the decision at that meeting.
The decision would be left for the next meeting in February.
"Any decision to prosecute for a breach of the District Plan would require a report to be put forward to full council, which would decide whether or not to take legal action," she said.
"Infringement fines in this situation could range between $300 and $1000."
Daly could not be reached for comment. He has previously denied responsibility for damage to the lift bridge although conceded damage to the signs was linked to his house-moving operation.