I had a little empathy for Mr Harvey, up until I got to the paragraph commencing ...
"I put a drain in ... "
yeah - from the sounds of it Mr Harvey just does whatever the hell he wants on property that isn't his, then gets all uppity when the landowner tells him to gtfo:
"He's done nothing about it. When I got there, there was a track that had been there for a while, but he turned that track into a road. I didn't have a problem with his coming up there, but he pulled down the gate and put a whole new road up there without any consultation. I got annoyed at that. He's continuously all over our property. And he's a hard man to talk to."
Lesson: Never, ever buy a property without legal, practical access.
The whole story reads like it could have been avoided with respectful behaviour including good communication.
If you rely on the good will of neighbors - don't take liberties, respect gates and don't undertake any works (however benign) on their property without permission.
Better still - pay them for an easement.
Yeah, I was reading this yesterday. My summary:
Kevin Harvey bought a bach 12 years ago. Access is via a set of steep stairs but his wife is unable to negotiate those so he uses a track through Pikau Marshall's land. Harvey's solicitor advised access was not a problem as there is "a precedent in the court - take it to court and you would end up getting legal access" but this turned out to be wrong.
After several years, Harvey pulls down a gate, turns the track into a road and puts a drain in, all on Marshall's land. He also builds a carpark, but it's not clear in the article whether this is on his own land or Marshall's. He does all this without any discussion with Marshall.
I have a tiny bit of sympathy for Harvey over the incorrect legal advice he was given but I wonder if his memory of what happened 12 years ago is faulty - it sounds a lot like something the real estate agent would have said, not the solicitor. But I have bought many houses in my time and whenever there has been any question over shared titles, easements, encroachments, boundaries, etc. you always get written legal confirmation to put into the property file - a verbal comment isn't worth the paper it's written on.
The obvious moral of the story is that you never, ever, do any work on property that doesn't belong to you without discussion and agreement from the property owner. At the very least, if Marshall had wanted any of this done Harvey might have been able to split the costs. Now he's out of pocket, on medication, and can't get to his bach. And going to the media, trying to make out his neighbour is the bad guy. That might have worked for the Roseneath fence but in this case it's all Harvey's problem.
Yeah, when I read it yesterday it very much sounded like Mr Harvey had started to do whatever he liked without consultation with, or respect for the landowner and his property. My sympathy for Harvey was gone before I got to the end of the article.
Funny how Stuff make him out to be the victim. Maybe the reporter didn't understand what they wrote?