Coun­cil fine goes to Man­gakino

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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’’.

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