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Excavation work results in fine.

November 21, 2008




Excavation work results in fine.

A North Canterbury landowner and a Christchurch based earthmoving company have been fined $10,000 and $5000 respectively, following the clearance of protection plantings and the construction of stop-banks on the Waiau River. Both defendants entered guilty pleas when the case was heard in the Christchurch District Court on November 4, 2008.

Judge Jeff Smith found that Garry Allan Derrick had undertaken the work in late 2007 and early 2008 for the purpose of restoring land for pasture. The land had been affected by flooding around the Waiau River earlier last year. Taggart Earthmoving Limited had acted as the contractor. The work contravened Section 13(1) of the Resource Management Act (RMA).

Judge Smith accepted that both defendants had pleaded guilty to the charges of breaching the RMA, and as the action was interpreted as contributing to the one course of conduct that constituted the offence, the penalty was divided between the two.

The Judge adopted a starting point of $30,000 as a penalty; however he deducted $10,000 due to the early guilty pleas and a further $5000 in recognition of the remediation work undertaken by Mr. Derrick.

The remaining $15,000 was apportioned between the two defendants, with $5000 imposed on Taggart and Mr. Derrick ordered to pay the remaining $10,000. In addition, Mr. Derrick was ordered to pay $697 towards Environment Canterbury’s investigation costs. Ninety percent of the total fine is to be paid to the regional council.





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