Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Banks Peninsula subdivision: environmental fines

Banks Peninsula subdivision: fines for environmental damage

A warning to developers that they cannot blame contractors for ignoring environmental law was issued in the Christchurch District Court by Environment Court Judge Jeff Smith recently.

The developer, the contracting company and the engineer involved in an Akaroa bay subdivision will have to pay close to $80,000 for deficient subdivision practices leading to significant harbour pollution. All parties had pleaded guilty to the charges.

Tonnes of clay and soil poured into Takamatua Bay from the subdivision creating a plume of yellow sediment-laden water midway to the headland to the north after heavy rain in October, 2006.

Environment Canterbury staff visited the Kingfisher Point subdivision from October to December that year as a result of complaints from residents. Mitigation measures proved largely unsuccessful.

ECan RMA enforcement manager Vikki Wilmore said the exercise had been significant in terms of community cooperation. “They were our eyes, ears and photographers on site, and we followed up with numerous site visits and formal enforcement action. In rural and urban areas, the community is much more aware of environmental vandalism and will report incidents to ECan’s Pollution Hotline. It is good to see the residents group getting something back to mitigate the damage and recognise the role they played.”

Takamatua West Ltd have to pay $42,000 in total - a $10,000 fine for the illegal harbour discharge, $10,000 to the Takamatua Residents and Ratepayers Association, $2000 costs to Environment Canterbury and $20,000 for failing to take action when served with an abatement notice from ECan.

 “I am not prepared to accept that it is possible for companies to escape those liabilities by blaming contractors. The abatement notice was served upon Takamatua; Takamatua was obliged to comply with it,” said Judge Smith.

The directors of Takamatua West Ltd at the time were Charles and Tom Kain and Justin Prain, described by Judge Smith as “experienced developers.”

Andrew Tisch, of E2 Solutions Ltd, the on-site engineer charged with implementing the site’s sediment control plan, was discharged without conviction but ordered to pay the Takamatua Residents and Ratepayers Association $10,000 and costs of $6000 to Environment Canterbury.

Calcon Ltd, the on-site contractor, was fined $10,000, ordered to pay the residents and ratepayers group $6,000 and $2,000 to Environment Canterbury.

In deciding to order costs for the residents group, Judge Smith noted: “Given that the effect of these sediments has impacted upon Takamatua Bay, not only the gullies, I am minded to consider some form of direct remedy for the environment as a result of the proceedings.”



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election