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

 


Reconsidering Approach to Stock Truck Discharges

Media Release

Environment Southland to Reconsider its Approach to Stock Truck Discharges


Environment Southland will reconsider its use of the Resource Management Act in its approach to stock trucks discharging effluent onto roads after the District Court awarded costs against the council on a case heard last month, Chief Executive Rob Phillips said today.

Environment Judge Jeff Smith has ruled that the Council must pay $5000 towards the legal costs incurred by Euan Shearing Contracting Ltd in preparing its defence relating to an alleged discharge of effluent from a stock truck on 31 May 2011. The Council had issued a $750 infringement notice against the company, which elected to have the matter heard in the District Court. Environment Southland withdrew the prosecution and the company sought costs.

In his ruling, Judge Smith noted that the case was “novel” in that it sought to prove the principle that a discharge of effluent from a vehicle could constitute an offence under the Resource Management Act. “Rather than seeking a law change to clarify the various issues or seeking a declaration, the Regional Council used the prosecution device in conjunction with the New Zealand Police,” Judge Smith said in his ruling. “… it was clear to the Regional Council that such a prosecution was novel and untested.”

He ruled that Environment Southland must pay $5000 towards the $7000 costs plus disbursements that the company had incurred.

Mr Phillips said that a legal audit of the Council’s compliance processes was still underway, and he would not pre-empt its findings. However, he said that it was significant that Judge Smith had not specifically criticised the amendments that a compliance officer had made to an Environment Southland form which a police officer had partly filled in after inspecting the truck.

“Much has been made in the media of allegations that a staff member had altered a police document,” Mr Phillips said. “The judgement clearly refers to “a form” – I want to reiterate that this was an Environment Southland form with an Environment Southland logo on the top that both compliance officers and Police used to record information.

Mr Phillips said that animal waste leaking from trucks on to roads remained an important issue that would have to be addressed in other ways, because motorists were rightly upset at being sprayed with effluent. Action will include establishing a network of effluent dump stations around the region. The Council has set aside funds for the first effluent dump station for stock trucks to be built on a State Highway this financial year.

Last winter there was a noticeable drop in the amount of effluent reported on roads around Southland. Mr Phillips said that keeping roads clear of effluent was not a direct responsibility of Environment Southland’s, and he acknowledged the lead role that the Transport industry and Dairy NZ had played this year to educate farmers and trucking firms.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news