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Couple prepared to tie themselves to trees to protect their Waikato bird sanctuary

An elderly couple with a bird sanctuary in the Waikato are getting ready to tie themselves to trees to protect it.

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The owners of Shaw's Bird Park have spent years fighting against the proposed road for a new subdivision, which would go straight through their sanctuary. Source: Seven Sharp

The owners of Shaw's Bird Park are fighting against a proposed road that will go straight through their property.

It's a year since TVNZ1's Seven Sharp first visited them and now the diggers are on their way.

Murray and Margaret Shaw aren't giving up though. At 70 and 71, they say they - and the birds - are not going anywhere. 

Shaw's Bird Park is the culmination of a 30-year labour of love, and now it comes down to this.

It's home to thousands of birds and thousands of trees. 

The Shaws have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their piece of paradise, which is free to the public.

But a new subdivision needs 1.9 hectares of the park for a through-road.

"I just said it's not for sale. And they said, 'If you don't sell it to us we'll take it under the Public Works Act," Murray told Seven Sharp.

They want to move the road 600 metres south, but the council says it's not that easy.

"A whole lot of people in the community have build plans and developments in the area around that road going through," Hamilton City Council's Richard Briggs says.

Murray's got plans too. He's dug a trench to keep the diggers out and says they're not going down without a fight.

"We're just so passionate about the birds... It's a battle," Murray says.

In a statement today, Briggs says the Shaws "knew exactly where the road was going and did not oppose the plans" during the three-year planning process.

"In fact they congratulated the council for its foresight and discussed how their property could interact with the new road," he says.

"It would be unfair and unreasonable for council to attempt to change the designation and planning now, costing ratepayers tens of millions of dollars, impacting other property owners in the area and delaying the entire Peacocke growth programme, just because one landowner has now changed their mind."

He says the Shaws have planted more trees in the route for the road since the plans were finalised, which would need to be removed.

"We continue to try to negotiate with the Shaws to ensure we reach the best environmental outcomes for this part of our Peacocke project."

Watch the video for the full Seven Sharp interview.