Council fine goes to Mangakino
The Mangakino community is to receive $ 30,000 towards community projects from Taupo District Council as part of a restorative justice ruling handed down by the Tokoroa District Court over illegal sewage dumping.
After a prosecution initiated by Environment Waikato, the council pleaded guilty to illegally dumping sewage sludge at sites around the town in 2008. The discharges by the council followed a series of problems with Mangakino’s sewage system.
EW consented to a restora- tive justice process that involved a meeting in Mangakino in July to work out how a suggested $27,000 fine could be put back into the local community.
At the meeting, attended by more than 30 people, the council representatives apologised to the Mangakino community for the offending and the way it had handled the issue.
It agreed it would communicate clearly with the town if any further incidents occurred and to keep people informed about the outcome of the court case and the awarding of any money to projects.
As a result of the meeting the council offered to pay $15,000 towards a new irrigation and treatment process to provide irrigation to the Mangakino golf course.
The council also offered to pay $ 5000 to research the stormwater flow into the sewage system and to address possible solutions to the problem this caused. Another $10,000 was offered for a community garden.
Judge Harland said she was ‘‘ very impressed’’ with the results of the restorative justice process saying they were an ‘‘excellent example of what can be achieved by people when they approach the solution to a problem with goodwill and lateral thought’’.
Judge Harland agreed that the council would be convicted and discharged, and commended the council and EW for their willingness to address the situation in a way which had ensured that ‘‘the victim of the offending, the Mangakino community, is recompensed in a manner which is of benefit to it’’.