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

 


Companies fined for muddying the waters

Companies fined for muddying the waters


Two Canterbury businesses have been successfully prosecuted by Environment Canterbury for their part in allowing sediment laden run-off from a building development to enter Duvauchelle Bay.

Both Sicon Ferguson Limited and Tresta Holdings Limited pleaded guilty at the Christchurch District Court in late June to breaching the Resource Management Act and were fined a total of $52,500. A third company, Elliot Sinclair and Partners Limited was found not guilty in relation to the same case.

“The plume of dirty water that was washed into Duvauchelle Bay last May was a direct result of these companies disregarding good advice and not taking the appropriate steps to lessen the risk posed by forecasted poor weather,” says Kim Drummond, Director for Resource Management at Environment Canterbury.

“They had been warned of the potential for the discharge and had had a similar one previously, but still they did not take adequate measures to prevent it happening again. Erosion and sediment control is a critical factor in any works near water and they neglected to follow the plans laid out which would have stopped this from happening.”

Judge J J M Hassan noted during sentencing that the primary cause of the offence was the errors of judgement made. “Neither Sicon or Tresta sought to deliberately pollute the environment. However, in various respects each of you demonstrated deliberateness in departing from your legal obligations.

“With large earthworks projects in challenging and sensitive environments such as this, there is clearly a need for diligence in project management and well systemised adherence to environmental controls.” The judge went on to add that the temptation to put environmental protection second must be strongly resisted.

Kim Drummond hopes the outcome of this case proves a timely reminder to others involved in these kinds of building developments that they have obligations to the community and the environment that they need to meet.

“Having inadequate erosion and sediment control practices that result in the kind of incident we saw in Duvauchelle Bay is just not acceptable. We don’t like to see our waterways treated this way and if we find it happening we’ll take those responsible to task over it.

“We have developed a number of programmes to help the industry, including the Builders Pocket Guide which responds to the expected increase in earthworks and supports the objectives of Canterbury Water Management Strategy and Earthquake Recovery. We also have staff whose role it is to develop strong working relationships with contractors, providing advice, support and encouragement for them to actively manage the environmental risks.”

During sentencing Judge Hassan recognised the associated cultural impact this incident had on local iwi Te Rununga o Ōnuku and took this into consideration along with the ecological effects. Scion was deemed comparatively more culpable and fined $30,000, while Tresta was fined $22,000.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Auckland Looks Long Term To Pay-Per-Km Road Pricing

Aucklanders can expect to be paying variable rates per kilometre to travel on the city's most congested roads under an emerging transport strategy being formulated by the government and the Auckland Council. More>>

ALSO:

Despite Promises: Government Extends Iraq Deployment

Cabinet has agreed to extend New Zealand’s contribution to the joint New Zealand-Australia mission to train Iraqi Security Forces until November 2018. More>>

ALSO:

On The 'Terrorism' Card:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news