Big fine stings spill firm

Central Leader - - NEWS - By NIGEL MOFFIET

The dam­age caused by one of Auck­land’s ‘‘most de­struc­tive’’ pol­lu­tion in­ci­dents is on­go­ing, iwi say.

Jen­ners World­wide Freight has been found guilty in the Auck­land Dis­trict Court of spilling more than 1000 litres of pur­ple dye into the Oru­arangi Stream and es­tu­ary and the Manukau Har­bour.

The com­pany has been fined $103,000 and or­dered to pay $25,000 in costs for the July 2013 in­ci­dent.

The spill killed all the eels and fish in the stream and just un­der half of the mud snails. Oys­ter beds in the area were dras­ti­cally af­fected and fish­ing was banned for months.

Judge Me­lanie Har­land says Jen­ners World­wide Freight man­age­ment failed to ‘‘even ap­pre­ci­ate’’ the po­ten­tial harm to the en­vi­ron­ment by their op­er­a­tions.

Auck­land Coun­cil com­pli­ance manager Ste­fan Naude says the heavy fine is a re­minder to busi­ness own­ers and man­agers to un­der­stand and com­ply with their obligations un­der the Re­source Man­age­ment Act.

‘‘In this case, if the con­tainer had been stored in a sec­ondary con­tain­ment de­vice, at min­i­mal cost, as re­quired by the reg­u­la­tions, the dis­charge of the dye could have been pre­vented,’’ he says.

The spill was Auck­land’s most de­struc­tive wa­ter pol­lu­tion in­ci­dent in decades, he says.

Makau­rau Marae spokes­woman Qiane Matata-Sipu is wel­com­ing the court rul­ing, say­ing it sends a strong mes­sage to the com­mu­nity.

But the ef­fects of the pol­lu­tion are still present, she says.

‘‘This hap­pened in July 2013 and in 2015 the river still has not been cleaned up.’’

Photo: JAY BOREHAM

De­struc­tive dye: Jen­ners World­wide Freight has been heav­ily fined for spilling more than 1000 litres of dye in 2013.

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