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Fines for illegal works at Kaikoura

March 26, 2008

MEDIA STATEMENT

Fines for illegal works at Kaikoura

A warning to developers and earth-moving businesses that the environment requires protection and care, the purpose of the Resource Management Act, was issued by the Kaikoura District Court recently.

Three Kaikoura men and two companies, Rakanui Station Ltd and Kerry Rush Earthmoving Ltd, had to pay court fines and costs amounting to thousands of dollars as a result of illegal earth-moving work in Kaikoura at the end of 2005 and early 2006.

All five defendants entered pleas of guilty. The two companies were convicted and the three individuals were discharged without conviction but with orders that the following costs be paid. Timothy Wilding and Kerry Rush each are required to pay close to $5000 investigation costs to Environment Canterbury. In addition, Timothy Wilding is required to pay solicitors' costs of $1452 and Ian and Kerry Rush are required to pay solicitors' costs of $726. Court costs are also payable.

The Court noted that the earth-moving contravention of environmental rules was large and a serious breach of the Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan rules.

It considered Rakanui Station Ltd should pay twice the fine of Kerry Rush Earthmoving (KRE) Ltd because of Rakanui's position as owner and instigator of the earth-moving, as well as its relative financial position.

The Court gave Rakanui a fine of $22,000 and for KRE $7,500. Each of these two defendants was further ordered to pay $130 in Court costs and $1,456 in solicitors' costs.

“This result sends a strong message to earthmoving businesses and the community about the importance of sensitive hill country and the need for resource consents for all earth-moving work in these sensitive situations to protect the land. The fines, 90 per cent of which will be paid to Environment Canterbury, will offset some of the costs of this prosecution to ratepayers,” said ECan director regulation Kim Drummond.

ENDS

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