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

 

Opotiki farmers fined for effluent discharges


Opotiki farmers fined for effluent discharges


3 December 2012

Ōpōtiki dairy farmers Riverlock Farms Limited, and directors Ian Brown and Geoffrey Brown, have been fined a total of $74,000 plus costs on charges brought by Bay of Plenty Regional Council of discharging contaminated underpass liquid to waterways in October 2011.

Following a two-day defended hearing in the Whakatāne District Court the defendants were also convicted and discharged on a charge of breaching an enforcement order imposed as part of a July 2011 sentencing for an earlier offence.

The defendants were charged with pumping underpass water containing contaminants directly into a roadside drain on 18 October 2011. The drain led to the Waioeka River via a tributary stream. The second discharge occurred when wastewater from a nearby effluent pond overflowed into the same drain. The third charge related to the company failing to comply with a Court order that they obtain a report about the farm’s contingency plans for effluent management.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Operations, Monitoring and Regulation Committee Chairman Malcolm Whitaker said the level of the fine reflected the deliberateness of the discharges.

“One year earlier the defendants pleaded guilty to offences relating to two unauthorised discharges of effluent at the same property. At this week’s hearing the Court heard from the defence that they have one of the largest farming operations in the Bay of Plenty, milking about 2,500 cows on their farms,” he said.

“A conviction on the breach of this previous enforcement order was necessary as the need to comply with a Court ordered direction is imperative. The company has spent in excess of $330,000 on upgrading their effluent system on the farm which was reflected by the Council not seeking a fine for that particular offence.

“However the conviction for the wastewater offences sends out a very clear message that discharges of this nature are not acceptable, particularly on farming operations of this size. The Regional Council is very concerned that some dairy farmers running large herds are not paying enough attention to managing the farm’s effluent system properly, to the detriment of the environment. We are seeing cases where farms have expanded their operations without the subsequent investment in infrastructure upgrades.”

He said there were many resources available to farmers on effluent management through dairy farming organisations, such as Fonterra and DairyNZ.

Mr Whitaker commended the member of public who alerted the Regional Council to the October 2011 offences.

“The Council relies on the public reporting any pollution incidents that they witness, which are often received through the Pollution Hotline (0800-884-883)” he said.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The EU’s Beef With Google

There’s every indication that Google would be on a losing wicket if it chooses to fight the European Union competition watchdogs, who have just levied a $3.3 billion fine on the firm – with the prospect of worse to come if Google doesn’t quickly change the anti-competitive practices at the heart of a court battle that’s been seven years in the making.

Essentially, the case involved Google’s alleged abuse of the stranglehold it enjoys on the online advertising associated with its search activities. More>>

 
 

Legislation: Point England Housing Bill Passed

The passage of the Point England Development Enabling Bill through Parliament this evening will benefit Auckland with additional housing, help resolve Ngāti Paoa’s Treaty claim and improve the local environment and recreation facilities, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says. More>>

ALSO:

Cyberducation: Digital Curriculum Launch And Funding Package

Consultation on new digital technologies content for the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, the Māori-medium Curriculum, was launched today by Education Minister Nikki Kaye. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Red Socks And Secret Tapes

Prime Minister Bill English began his post-cabinet press conference by explaining how well the National Party's annual conference went. He also mentioned today's announcement of changes to the EQC disaster insurance legislation and wished Emirates Team New Zealand well in the America's Cup. More>>

Max Rashbrooke: On How To Make Government More Open

International surveys, while often complimentary, have also pinpointed major weaknesses: political donations are badly regulated, for instance, and appointments to government boards frequently go to those with strong political connections. More>>

In Court: Hamilton Student's Lawsuit Over Climate Change Policy

A law student from Hamilton is preparing to challenge the Government in the High Court on Monday over what she says is a “failure” to properly address climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement. As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog