Southland man charged after purposefully poisoning 200 trees

File photo
File photo Photo credit: RNZ

A Southland man has been charged with Criminal Damage after admitting to deliberately poisoning more than 200 trees in a public reserve.

Otautau Sergeant Chris Maguire said "the trees were planted to initially beautify the area". Long-term, it was intended any proceeds from their eventual harvesting would be put towards the community to benefit residents in the area.

With the help of the Tuatapere public providing detailed information, a search warrant was executed and items used to poison was discovered.

The 54-year-old offender was subsequently interviewed and made full admissions of intentionally committing the crime, police said in a statement.

The man is due to appear in Invercargill District Court on February 28.