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


Fonterra fined for Edgecumbe overflows

Media Release

Fonterra fined for Edgecumbe overflows

31 July 2015

Fonterra Limited has been fined a total of $174,150 in Tauranga District Court for six separate offences under the Resource Management Act. Fonterra pled guilty to all six charges and was sentenced by Judge Smith at a hearing on 27 July.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council brought the prosecution against Fonterra after four failures of Fonterra’s wastewater (whey) irrigation system at Edgecumbe and two overflows of wastewater to the stormwater system at Fonterra’s Edgecumbe plant resulted in pollution entering the Rangitāiki River and other smaller waterways between September 2014 and April 2015.

Wastewater can deplete oxygen levels and makes water more acidic. In a river or stream it can cause fish kills and other adverse effects. Of the two wastewater discharges from the Edgecumbe processing plant, one occurred as a result of mechanical failure, and the other due to human error.

During the hearing, Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff presented evidence that Fonterra had failed to put adequate systems in place to prevent the overflowing wastewater from discharging beyond the site, into the Rangitāiki River and a nearby drain.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Pollution Prevention Manager Nick Zaman said that he hopes the ruling will prompt Fonterra to set higher standards for environmental protection in future.

“The discharge of dairy wastewater directly to the Rangitāiki River from a system failure was disappointing. The Rangitāiki River is important for migratory and indigenous fish, it has white bait spawning sites, and is culturally very significant to a number of iwi including Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Whare, Ngāti Manawa and Ngāi Tuhoe. It’s the Pataka Kai – Food basket for iwi.”

Regional Council has put a lot of effort into working with the dairy farming community in recent years and we’ve been pleased to see a real shift towards more responsible practices.

“Farmers across the region are becoming more environmentally aware and vigilant about protecting waterways. They’ve been investing in infrastructure upgrades and more robust effluent management systems. It’s important that Fonterra, as the large corporate body owned by dairy farmers, leads by example and ensures it has the right infrastructure and maintenance regimes in place to protect the environment from its activities, every time,” Mr Zaman said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Max Rashbrooke: On How To Make Government
More Open

It’s true that New Zealand scores well on many international rankings of openness... Those findings are all important, and welcome. But we cannot ignore the fact that there are still serious problems.

For a start, those 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>>


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>>


Visions: National Party Conference

National Party leader Bill English today outlined his vision to take New Zealand into the 2020s and his key priorities for the next Parliamentary term – including further raising incomes and reducing taxes. More>>


Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>


Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog