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Fine for works in riverbed of Eyre River

Fine for works in riverbed of Eyre River, North Canterbury

A North Canterbury landowner has been fined $8,500 for excavating and diverting the bed of a tributary of the Eyre River in North Canterbury, an area home to native fish and the endangered Canterbury mudfish.

In imposing the fine, Environment Judge Jon Jackson stressed the importance of finding out whether a resource consent is required before doing any works in the beds of rivers. While he accepted Brian Cribb's explanation that he thought the works were maintenance and that he did not need a consent, Judge Jackson found that Mr Cribb should have made better enquiries before starting the works.

While the Court started with a possible fine of $15,000, Mr Cribb's guilty plea, remorse, belief that he could do the works lawfully, subsequent efforts to comply and the absence of previous convictions convinced the judge that the fine should be reduced to $8,500.

"It is good to see the Court reinforce the provisions of the Resource Management Act, which are designed to protect  our natural environment and ensure any work in the public domain of our riverbeds follows the right process,” said Cr Alec Neill, joint chair of ECan’s regulation overview committee.


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