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Working on or around trees

Working on or around trees banner

As a landowner, Council also owns the trees on that land. Approval must be given to carry out any modification to a public tree by Tauranga City Council’s Urban Forest team.

This includes all parts of the tree, its root zone, and the immediate growing environment.

Council requires that all activities impacting trees on Council-owned land meet the approval of a Council Urban Forest Advisor. The asset owner approval provides a written and signed agreement between a party carrying out work that may affect a public tree and Council as the owner.

The process confirms a person or group’s understanding of the methods, conditions, and procedures necessary for compliance with Council tree management objectives.

When you need Asset Owner Approval

Activities that may affect a tree on Council land must not take place without a signed Tauranga City Council Asset Owner Approval (AOA). If in doubt, please enquire.

Some activities which require approval include: 

  • tree pruning
  • tree removal 
  • transplanting
  • root disturbance
  • activities with potential to damage any part of a Council tree. 

How to apply for Asset Owner Approval

If you have any questions about the approval process, email us at trees@tauranga.govt.nz or call us on 07 577 7000 and ask to speak to an Urban Forest Advisor.

How we assess your request

Applying for approval does not guarantee that it will be granted. We will weigh up our responsibilities as kaitiaki (guardians) of public trees to consider what’s in the best interest of the public and the applicant in alignment with the urban forest objectives outlined in our Vegetation and Tree Management Policy.

Vegetation and Tree Management Policy (130kb pdf)


We aim to respond within three working days to outline the next steps and approximate timing. We aim to process your application within 10 working days where thorough information has been provided. Lengthy or complex applications may require longer timeframes.


There is no fee for the application itself. However, if trees are to be removed the AOA will typically include a condition that requires the applicant to make a payment to Council. The total amount of the compensation payment will be stated in the AOA.

All physical works on Council land must be carried out in accordance with Best Practice Guide for Safety Requirements in New Zealand Arboricultural Operations.

Qualified arborists supported by Council:

  • Arbor Care - 07 543 1775
  • Tree Wise Men - 027 430 1467
  • Paul Kenny Contracting - 027 246 5034
  • Asplundh Ltd - 027 572 2440
  • Full Circle Arboriculture - 027 655 4777
  • Tauranga Tree Services - 027 4729 924

Managing Kauri Dieback

Central government has prepared a National Pest Management Plan (biosecurity regulation) under the Biosecurity Act 1993 to help tackle the serious issue of kauri dieback. The purpose of this plan is to provide a consistent approach to manage the risk of Phytophthora agathidicida (PA). This soil-borne pathogen kills any kauri tree it infects, regardless of the tree’s size, age and health.

Any earthworks and land disturbances are a significant risk factor for the health and well-being of kauri. Such activities can spread Phytophthora agathidicida (PA) but this risk can be mitigated by good planning and hygiene practices.

From 2 August 2023 onwards, any earthworks or land disturbance activities (except domestic gardening) that occurs within a ‘Kauri Hygiene Zone’ will require an Earthworks Risk Management Plan. This plan must be submitted to, and approved by, Tauranga City Council before any such activity can begin.

A Kauri Hygiene Zone is defined as being three times the maximum radius of the canopy dripline of a kauri tree (or stand of trees) as shown in the image below:

Kauri hygiene zone

For more information on what your obligations are regarding kauri trees on your property, you can read our fact sheet here.

You can also visit the Kauri Protection website or contact Tiakina Kauri (the management agency) to find out more.

Contact us

Email trees@tauranga.govt.nz or phone 07 577 7000.

Ask to speak to a member of the Urban Forest team if you’d like to know more.

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