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Council To Prosecute Over Resource Consent Breaches

Media Release

Release date: Fri 31 August 2012

Council To Prosecute Over Resource Consent Breaches

Gisborne District Council has lodged a prosecution in the District Court against Hikurangi Forest Farms Ltd under the Resource Management Act. The prosecution relates to forest roading and harvesting activities carried out earlier this year at Waimanu Forest in the upper Pouawa River catchment.
Council alleges that Hikurangi Forest Farms breached several conditions of their resource consent for harvesting. Council Environmental Services Manager Trevor Freeman says that “Forestry roads were significantly wider than consented, batter slopes were larger, and as a result there were significant downstream effects on water quality of the Pouawa Stream. These effects were exacerbated by storms, but the weather was not extreme and resource consent conditions imposed were designed to curb those effects."

Mr Freeman says that Gisborne District Council uses prosecutions rarely. "We feel compelled to prosecute on this occasion because of the significant effects caused by multiple breaches of the consent conditions. The prosecution also serves as a reminder that Council does take compliance with the Resource Management Act seriously."

Meanwhile, Council staff, representatives from the forestry industry and other stakeholders are looking at ways to reduce the adverse downstream impacts of harvesting on waterways, farmland and beaches. Those impacts have become more pronounced in the past few years as a result of increased steep land harvesting in the district.

"This consultation may lead to better practices by the forestry industry. The possibility of Council imposing stricter rules on harvesting through a change to its Combined Regional Land and District Plan is also an option", Mr Freeman says.


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