Ease of Access

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3 weeks 3 hours ago #557660 by Lifestyler1
Ease of Access was created by Lifestyler1
I have ease of access through a paddock that has a gate at the end which is have always kept shut.  My neighbour who owns the paddock has just subdivided and sold land but still has the access in previous owners name.  New neighbours are not shutting the gate so stock is getting out on the road.  If the farmer closed his own gates it would contain his stock meaning no need for any other gates to be closed.  He has sent scathing letter saying we need to close a second gate that there is hole next to so stock can through anyway.  We are seeking legal advice on this as we want to know what we should be doing.  He is liable for his his stock so surely he should shut his own gates to ensure stock doesn’t even get to the gate we have always shut!  Help!!

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2 weeks 6 days ago - 2 weeks 6 days ago #557661 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Ease of Access
Welcome to the site, and take heart that most of us have had similar experiences to yours! First of all, study your property file which is available online from your local authority. Make sure you know what easements/rights of way etc are registered on your title and that you know where the boundary fences should be (not where they are at present).
Once you have all this info, you will be able to have a friendly discussion with your neighbour in order to resolve the issue. Lawyers are of no use unless you are prepared for a long fight, all they can do is write threatening letters to your neighbour and charge you heaps for doing it. The next time the stock get out, call your Animal Control Officer or Phone: 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).
You are far better to fix the problem yourself by repairing fences and fitting a self closing gate. This way you can move on in life and enjoy your LSB.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)
Last edit: 2 weeks 6 days ago by tonybaker.
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2 weeks 6 days ago #557665 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Ease of Access
Ditto Toný's comments re checking your title to what exactly the Right of Way or easement basically states.   

From memory, easements are managed under the Resource Management Act  www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1991/...atest/DLM230265.html   various rules changed a couple of years ago in regard to increased privacy of the land owner.    In our case, there is a limited easement on our property but our neighbour who the easement benefits, ''should'' make an appointment to come onto the property before entering, out of respect of our privacy.    Naturally what is on the land title doesn't go into this much detail and all we ask for is a text before they enter.   However this isn't your issue but explains how the Act goes further with explaining how things work than the brief few lines on the title. 


I'm wondering if you actually have a Right of Way.  My understanding, and again I would refer you to the Resource management act to double check, is no one can block your access to it, and this includes stock getting in the way or gates being fitted.  Our one here the roadside gate was removed at the time of subdivision, and the land owner padocks (who hosts the RoW) fenced to contain stock (where indicated on the survey plan for the subdivision).

You can source and buy on line a copy of these survey plans and titles on the LINZ website.   www.linz.govt.nz/   I think they are about $16 each and you do an address search to find your property and that where the access is hosted.

If this all gets a bit much, make an appointment with your district Council and ask them to review what the easement/Right of Way is about.   

Finally we found out during one of our searches that the easement on our property is incomplete and only provides part of the service to our neighbour that it implies.   Council of the day should have picked this up and didn't, and the subdivision was approved.  However as the easement has been used as intended, chances are if the matter went to court (and its not) we would not be able to force the neighbour to cease the activity the easement should be providing...  and that came from our Solicitor who researched in depth what was contained in the easements on the property.

Phew, hope that is somewhat helpful.   In short, best get all the information to hand and go through it with the neighbour causing the grief.  It seems to me quite likely someone has got the wrong gist of the intention of the easement/RoW/ ease of access stated.. 

good luck 
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2 weeks 5 days ago #557670 by Hawkspur
Replied by Hawkspur on topic Ease of Access
Gates are generally regarding as not being an umpediment to a ROW or easement as long as they are not locked,
If, as in one court case, the gates affect the running of a business, then they may be found to be an impediment if closed during business hours.
www.nzdrc.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2019/...081-ed148a9bac44.pdf
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2 weeks 1 day ago #557681 by Lifestyler1
Replied by Lifestyler1 on topic Ease of Access
Following in from my original feed and question I now have answers. I took all documentation to a solicitor who has looked into it and advised me of what is right and what is wrong.
Due the the original paddock being sold and now having a residential house on it it becomes an access way on the ease of access which means legally no one is responsible to shut the gates it is just a neighbourly thing to do but shouldn’t be relied on to keep
His cattle in due to the farmer not closing his gates. The farmer has gates to his paddocks he has cattle in and it is his responsibility to keep these shut to keep his cattle in. Just because the farmer is being lazy and not wanting to open
And close gates he has tried to put the responsibility on me which shouldn’t be the case at all! The matter has been discussed with the farmer with a follow up letter from our solicitor. I am closing his gates with cattle in as he thinks electrical tape is sufficient. At least we know where we stand legally but morally I still feel responsible! Hope this helps someone in the future

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2 weeks 15 hours ago #557682 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Ease of Access
But you still have the problem so what next?

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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2 weeks 13 hours ago #557684 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Ease of Access
Hmmm ..... if you find escaped animals on any road you are legally responsible to shut them off the road if you are able, and to call Animal Control.
When I tried to use low electric tapes to keep cattle in, that cars could drive over, the drivers drove quickly enough to break the tapes :-( .

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2 weeks 10 hours ago - 2 weeks 9 hours ago #557685 by Lifestyler1
Replied by Lifestyler1 on topic Ease of Access
I don’t still have issue the farmer is responsible to shut his own gates rather than rely on his electric tape. His paddocks are x3 gates away from the road mine is the 4th gate and he has been relying on me to close which I always do but the new neighbours don’t and we get the blame for it which is where this all started.   He has been notified in written format from our solicitor reminding him what his responsibilities are!  
Last edit: 2 weeks 9 hours ago by Lifestyler1.

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1 week 5 days ago #557686 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Ease of Access
so just to see if I have got the story correct, your neighbour is lazy and doesn't close the gate to his paddock, resulting in his animals getting out and entering other properties and also escaping onto the road? You have spent money on a solicitor who has written to the bad neighbour.
Ok, the trouble with bad neighbours is that their behavior rarely changes and a slap on the wrist with a wet lawyer letter won't do much. So here is my suggestion, rather than spend more money on letters, find someone who is handy with a welder and make yourself a cattle stop like THIS . Nobody likes to keep opening and closing gates so I can understand how  this situation has arisen. Every time you drive over this cattle stop you will thank me, or maybe your wife will! Also get the phone number of the local pound keeper and of the highways authority 0800 4 HIGHWAYS and put them on your phone.
Good luck.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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1 week 2 days ago #557693 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Ease of Access
I'm a bit confused too.   If the cattle ''live'' on property number 1 or 2, and you live on no 4 and the people from no. 3 are the problem, why isn't the ease of access just fenced off from the main balance of the cattle property so the vehicles can freely come and go?

That is how the RoW we use to get to our property works, with a 50/50 clause as to shared expenses for the RoW (because frankly everyone benefits from its upkeep).   

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1 week 2 days ago #557694 by Lifestyler1
Replied by Lifestyler1 on topic Ease of Access
The farmer wont fence it off as he would have to spend money! I offered to pay and he wouldn’t agree to that either. It weird - he has a new girlfriend who moved in 6 months ago and there have been issues and problems ever since! If the farmer and his partner shut there own gates there cattle wouldn’t be able to get to properties 3 and 4 so therefore there wouldn’t be an issue. Like my solicitor said he is responsible for keeping his cattle in not his neighbours he just cant be bothered to shut his own gates. So basically its anything to be pain. We have since spoken to him and he has said it was all down to his girlfriend and is now taking reposibility to shut his own gates. Issue solved and thanks for all your comments. I wasn’t to let everyone know what the results were if anyone else was having the same issues!

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