$22k fine for breach

South Waikato News - - Rural Delivery - STAFF RE­PORTER

A Hakataramea farm and its direc­tor have been fined $22,000 for il­le­gally dis­turb­ing the bed of Sis­ters Creek and dis­charg­ing sed­i­ment into the Hakataramea River.

MFS Ven­tures Lim­ited and its direc­tor Gre­gory Nel­son pleaded guilty to two charges each of breach­ing the Re­source Man­age­ment Act 1991.

The to­tal fine for dis­turb­ing the bed of Sis­ters Creek was $15,000 and the to­tal fine for the dis­charge of sed­i­ment into the Hakataramea River was $7,000. The fines were split evenly be­tween MFS Ven­tures Ltd and Nel­son. MFS Ven­tures Ltd is lo­cated in the Hakataramea Val­ley.

Un­der the di­rec­tion of Nel­son, the com­pany started work at Sis­ters Creek in Oc­to­ber 2016 to con­vert land to pas­ture. In Novem­ber 2016, an En­vi­ron­ment Can­ter­bury com­pli­ance of­fi­cer vis­ited the site and saw ex­ten­sive works, in­clud­ing the use of heavy ma­chin­ery to ex­ca­vate, scrape, grade and clear the Sis­ters Creek riverbed.

No re­source con­sent had been sought. An abate­ment no­tice was is­sued on 26 Novem­ber 2016, re­quir­ing the works to cease.

In Jan­uary 2017 En­vi­ron­ment Can­ter­bury was alerted to sed­i­ment dis­charge in the Hakataramea River and this was found to have come from drain clean­ing ac­tiv­i­ties on MFS Ven­tures Ltd’s prop­erty.

RICHARD COS­GROVE/STUFF

The Hakataramea Val­ley, which the Hakataramea River runs through.

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