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

 

Horizons prosecutes environmental polluters

Friday 27 July 2018

Three of five prosecutions Horizons Regional Council currently has before the courts have been found guilty for environmental offending.

Horizons strategy and regulation group manager Dr Nic Peet says there are around 5000 active consents in the region.

“Council has an active compliance monitoring programme and also responds to pollution incidents,” says Dr Peet

“We take our role as an environmental regulator seriously and prioritise significant sites where there is the most potential for environmental impact. Where appropriate we put serious matters before the Court.”

Earlier this week, Le Poulet Fabuleux Limited was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court by Judge Dwyer. The Court imposed a fine of $57,000 in relation to the discharge of effluent and washwater from a chicken rearing operation located in Himatangi.

Dr Peet says the discharge, detected by Horizons staff on 10 March 2017, was entering a farm drain that is a tributary of Lake Koputara - a rare and threatened habitat under the Regional Plan.

“The Court noted Le Poulet Fabuleux Limited is a large commercial operation which had been very careless in how it had managed its disposal of washwater and effluent,” says Dr Peet.

“While the exact duration of the offending could not been determined it was agreed that it had been for a period of time, which resulted in a sustained discharge of wastewater into the farm drain and ultimately the lake.

“The Judge commented that large commercial operators should be aware of their legal responsibilities and manage their business accordingly. While it was noted the company now had procedures in place to ensure wastewater is disposed of lawfully, these measures should have been in place from the outset.

“This decision highlights the fact that it is critical for resource users to have adequate systems and procedures in place to ensure the environmental impacts of their operations are appropriately managed and lawful.

“We recognise that Les Poulet’s guilty plea was a useful acknowledgement of the offending which reduced the time and costs of prosecution.”

Horizons has also recently received guilty verdicts in relation to two discharges that occurred in the Whanganui District. The first relates to the discharge of human wastewater from a Whanganui District Council pump station into the Mowhanau Stream in January 2017.

“Mowhanau Stream is a spot valued by the Kai Iwi community and is culturally significant to iwi,” says Dr Peet.

“Horizons is conscious that the prosecution process comes at a cost to both Whanganui and regional ratepayers and we’ve done our best to keep these costs down, however the issues were significant enough that they needed to be brought in front of the Court.”

Horizons third successful prosecution relates to the discharge of wastewater from Land Meats NZ Ltd into the Whanganui River in March 2017. Both Whanganui cases will proceed to sentencing over the next few months.

“Two further prosecutions are underway but cannot currently be commented on,” says Dr Peet.

“Elsewhere around the region we continue to use other regulatory tools such as enforcement orders, infringement notices and consent reviews for non-compliance issues.

“These determinations are a timely reminder of the very real responsibility consent holders have regarding compliance and undertaking activities in an environmentally friendly manner.

“Members of our community are encouraged to report any environmental incidents to our 24 hour Pollution Hotline on 0508 800 800.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

NZEI: Primary Teachers And Principals Vote To Reject Offers

Primary teachers and principals have resoundingly rejected the Government’s latest collective agreement offers...

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart said members had sent a clear message that the offers did not address concerns about the growing teacher shortage, time to teach and support for children with additional learning needs. More>>

 

No Confidence In GWRC: Bus Drivers Vote For Strike Next Month

The Wellington Tramways Union today voted overwhelmingly for bus drivers to strike because of the breakdown in negotiations with the Wellington bus operators. More>>

ALSO:

Unanimous: MP Pay Freeze Bill Passes

“The Remuneration Authority (Members of Parliament Remuneration) Amendment legislation, to freeze the pay of MPs for one year, has been passed unanimously by the House today." More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Party Of No Ideas

The striking thing about the issues that have had political coverage over the past few months is the almost total lack of policy content to any of them. To date, Her Majesty’s Opposition have been entirely focussed on failings in Beehive management.. More>>

ALSO:

America's Cup: Environment Court Grants Consents

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “I welcome today’s decision by the Environment Court to grant consent for the bases and associated infrastructure to host the 36th America’s Cup." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bridges’ ‘Meth Crooks’ Leadership Failure

Back in June, Bridges publicly accepted that Housing NZ had got it wrong, and that the National government had acted upon bad advice. Now, you’d think this admission would create a broad bi-partisan basis for compensation to those families who had been unfairly evicted... More>>

ALSO:

Medical: New Surgical Mesh Safeguards

The Government has introduced strict new safeguards on the use of surgical mesh that are expected to limit its use in urogynaecological surgery. More>>

ALSO:

Handley Handling: Fired Chief Technology Officer Releases Communications

In the interests of drawing a line on this issue, today I am releasing a detailed timeline of events and all of the emails and texts between myself and Clare Curran, and myself and the Prime Minister about the role and my move back to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels