This is the new view from on high of rural Waipā.
These shade covers block views at ground level – and for that reason residents across the district are up in arms as huge unauthorised structures crawl over hectares of pasture for kiwifruit orchards.
This photograph is of two in Parallel Rd between Ōhaupō and Cambridge. There are more.
Waipā District Council – already guilty of an almost mute response to the exposure by The News of a giant illegal sand quarry last year – appears to regard these cloth covers as being “minor support structures”.
Neighbours say elected councillors, who they should be able to turn to for help, have been told to butt out. Why? Because those same neighbours – be they in Ōhaupō, Maungatautari, Ngāhināpouri, Hautapu or Cambridge have turned to lawyers to argue their case.
In the meantime, the council appears content to quietly deal with “retrospective” consent applications – applications made by people who elect to build and be damned.
We say it’s not good enough and it’s time for mayor Susan O’Regan and her council to make a stand.
See: Landowners see red
See: Letters to Editor