Big fine stings spill firm
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.’’
Destructive dye: Jenners Worldwide Freight has been heavily fined for spilling more than 1000 litres of dye in 2013.