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


Farmer fined $12,000 for illegally takign water

November 7, 2006

Mid Canterbury farmer fined $12,000 for illegally taking water

A Mid Canterbury farmer, Keith Bruce Townshend, was fined $12,000 after pleading guilty to taking water from a bore on his property in Valetta groundwater zone without a resource consent. The fine was imposed on November 1 in the Christchurch District Court by Environment Court Judge Jeff Smith.

An Environment Canterbury environmental protection officer noticed the illegal water take when monitoring Mr Townshend’s dairy effluent discharge consent in March this year. The property is located on Poplar Rd, Eiffelton.

A sharemilker operating on Mr Townshend’s property also pleaded guilty to the same charge but was discharged without conviction and ordered to pay $2,500 to Environment Canterbury. The Judge specified that the money is to be used by Environment Canterbury to educate young farmers on the seriousness of this type of offending and the need to adhere strictly to any resource consent conditions. The sharemilker was discharged without conviction because of his full co-operation and honesty, his lesser culpability, remorse, good character and his early guilty plea. The Judge also found that his unique personal circumstances in this case would have made the consequences of a conviction too severe.

Although Mr Townshend had applied to take water via a bore on his property, the consent had not been granted. His application is being processed along with a number of other groundwater applications within the same Valetta groundwater zone. The zone is classified as “red” or assessed as 100 per cent or more allocated by ECan water scientists.

The Judge said that the fine for this sort of offence should start at around $20,000. Given mitigating circumstances, for example the farmer’s early guilty plea, remorse, acknowledgement of responsibility and co-operation with ECan staff, the fine was set at $12,000. Environment Canterbury receives 90 per cent of the fine with the remainder to the Crown. Court costs were included in this amount.

ECan regulatory hearing committee chair Cr Angus McKay said the $12,000 fine, the same as received by a central Canterbury irrigator mid year for a similar offence, signals that neither the Court nor Environment Canterbury will tolerate illegal takes of Canterbury groundwater. This increasingly valued resource had to be safeguarded via the Resource Management Act and the consenting process to protect the environment and existing water users, he said.


For further information on Canterbury groundwater: http://www.ecan.govt.nz/Our+Environment/Water/Groundwater/


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Panic In The Pacific Over China

For years, it has been no secret that China wants closer security and trade ties with the small nations of the Pacific region. All part of Beijing’s self-image as a global superpower. To that end this week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi embarked on an unprecedented 10-day tour of the Pacific, aimed at convincing his Pacific hosts to join a cross-Pacific agreement that would let Beijing provide them with high-level police training and security, shared data co-operation and other joint services ranging from agriculture to tourism...


Covid-19: Second Vaccine Booster For The Most Vulnerable
People who are at high-risk of getting very sick from a COVID-19 infection will soon be eligible to receive a second booster, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>

Crime: Govt Helps Protect Shops From Ram Raids

The Government is providing further support to help Police protect small businesses affected by a spike in ram raids, Minister of Police Poto Williams says... More>>

Government: Investment Boosts Coastal Shipping In Aotearoa
New Zealand is a step closer to a more resilient, competitive, and sustainable coastal shipping sector following the selection of preferred suppliers for new and enhanced coastal shipping services, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>

PM Speech: Harvard University Commencement Speech - Democracy, Disinformation And Kindness

In Te Reo Māori, the language of the indigenous people of New Zealand, I paid tribute to all of the esteemed guests who stand here in this great forest of knowledge. It is a privilege to be here, and I thank you for the honour... More>>

Government: Independent Panel Appointed To Review Electoral Law
Justice Minister Kris Faafoi today announced appointments to the independent panel that will lead a review of New Zealand’s electoral law. “This panel, appointed by an independent panel of experts... More>>

Trade: Prime Minister To Visit United States
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is leading a trade mission to the United States this week as part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19... More>>




InfoPages News Channels