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


Company convicted for illegal grazing

Company convicted for illegal grazing

Illegally grazing 380 cattle in a conservation area for two weeks in 2017 could cost a Southland farming company more than $100,000.

Wairaki Station Ltd was sentenced in the Invercargill District Court on 20 February, after admitting one charge of “knowingly and without authority carrying out an activity, namely farming operations, in a conservation area”.

Wairaki had grazed 380 head of in-calf cows in two areas totalling approximately 190 hectares in the Takitimu Conservation Area for 15 days from 24 April last year before the animals were removed. Wairaki installed a temporary electric fence to contain its animals within the conservation area – which was retired from grazing in the early 1990s.

Wairaki’s director Richard Slee said in an affidavit he saw the conservation area as “rough feed”, “almost going to waste” and that it was convenient to put the animals in the conservation area right next to the Wairaki farm boundary.

Wairaki admitted it had intended to leave the animals there for a month, although other feed was available on the farm at the time.

During sentencing Judge Mark Callaghan said that while the direct actions of putting the cows in the conservation area may not have been to save money, there were benefits and savings for the company in other ways as well as an eventual profit from sale of calves.

The maximum available penalty was therefore increased, to recognise the commercial gain or reward the company could receive, from fines of $200,000 plus $10,000 per day of further offending, to fines of $300,000 plus $20,000 per further day.

Allowing for mitigating factors of cooperation and remorse, previous good character and entering a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity, Judge Callaghan imposed total fines of $52,450.

Judge Callaghan also gave Wairaki credit for contributing $14,823 towards DOC’s investigation costs and agreeing to pay restoration costs for weed control in the conservation area of up to $35,000 over the next five years.

Department of Conservation (DOC) Acting Operations Manager John McCarroll said the Takitimu Conservation Area has significant conservation values and the cattle caused considerable damage and impacts including stock tracking, heavy pugging of stream riparian margins and wet areas, and vegetation effects.
“How well this area recovers is unknown at this stage, we do know that this type of stock incursion adds to the persistence of weeds (gorse and broom) which DOC has been actively controlling.

“We have been working with Wairaki Station in relation to managing these impacts and will continue to do so over the next three years,” Mr McCarroll said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Science Advisors: Stopping Family Violence – The Evidence

A new report “Every 4 minutes: A discussion paper on preventing family violence in New Zealand” by Justice sector Chief Science Advisor, Dr Ian Lambie, discusses the evidence and asks us, as a community, to get involved...

Dr Lambie says family violence is widespread and goes on behind closed doors in all suburbs, affects the childhoods of many New Zealanders, and disturbs adult and family relationships. More>>


Conflicts, Inadequacies: IPCA Finds Police Investigation Flawed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police investigation into inappropriate contact between a teacher and a student in Gisborne in 2014 was deficient in several respects. More>>


PM's Press Conference Multimedia: Grace Millane, ACC Levy Hold, Absent Execs

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began her Monday post-cabinet press conference with an emotional comment on the murder of English backpacker Grace Millane. More>>


Child Poverty Monitor: Food Poverty Due To Inadequate Income, Housing Cost

The latest Child Poverty Monitor released today by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner reveals alarming facts about children suffering the impacts of family income inadequacy, says Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG). More>>


Open Government: Proactively Release Of Ministerial Diaries

All Government Ministers will for the first time release details of their internal and external meetings, Minister for State Services (Open Government) Chris Hipkins announced today. More>>


Billion Trees: Questions Over Shanes Jones Carbon Claims

“Officials estimate the actual value of the One Billion Trees (OBT) scheme will be just a third of the amount Mr Jones claimed, at about $900 million, and that he padded the number by including $800 million of ETS benefits and $1 billion of business-as-usual activity..." More>>

'Sovereignty Concerns': Plans To Sign UN Migration Pact

New Zealand is likely going to sign up to a United Nations migration pact this week as long as it can iron out a concern around sovereignty. More>>


Most Vulnerable Face Most Risk: Sea Level Rise Threatens Major Infrastructure

The burden of sea-level rise will weigh on the most vulnerable unless a new approach is developed and legislated, a new report says. More>>





InfoPages News Channels