A Banks Peninsula farmer is accused of destroying nearly a third of the population of an endangered native plant.
The alleged destruction has shocked Forest and Bird which has applied for court enforcement orders to stop further harm, in its ongoing battle to save the rare plant.
The barren coastline of Kaitorete Spit is marred now by vast stretches of lush green.
"To see it now turned into just another part of the Canterbury Plains, I just feel loss when I come out here now," Anita Spencer of the Department of Conservation told 1 NEWS at the scene.
The farm is home to most of New Zealand's rare and threatened Shrubby tororaro.
It is essentially the equivalent of clearing a third of a beech forest or obliterating a third of the kakapo- Jen Miller of Forest & Bird
A third of it is said to be killed off by the new landowner who's accused of spraying three of the farm's eight paddocks.
Jen Miller of Forest & Bird says she finds it very difficult to accept that the landowner doesn't know how special the place is.
"He said he had planning advice. Well the most rudimentary planning analysis would tell you this is special."
The landowner says he knew part of his property was protected, but didn't realise just how far reaching the habitat of the precious plant was.
That's why Forest and Bird has taken legal action through the Environment Court to stop further harm.
"These dry land systems are so important now that it is essentially the equivalent of clearing a third of a beech forest or obliterating a third of the kakapo," Ms Miller said.
The landowner, Brent Thomas, wouldn't appear on camera, but in a statement told 1 NEWS he's now working closely with DOC to help protect the rare plant, including selling a portion of his property to the Department of Conservation.
But the case has raised concerns about the lack of power to protect important native species on private land.
"I think it should be a big deal for everyone in New Zealand when we are increasingly losing what naturally exists," Ms Miller said.
The hope is that buying some of the land will help keep the endangered plant on the planet.
Police are investigating after forestry workers discovered a large amount of animal carcasses near two burned out cars in the Rai Valley area of Marlborough today.
Police say they were called by forestry workers this afternoon when they discovered the bodies of 16 cattle beasts, 12 sheep and 10 pigs on a logging skid site.
There were also two burnt out cars found nearby but police say at this stage it's not believed that these are related to the animal carcasses.
Police are seeking information to establish how both the vehicles and the carcasses came to be dumped there, and ask that anyone with information contacts Havelock Police on (03) 574 2011.
Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.