Bigger fines for dairy shed effluent welcomed

NEW ZEALAND - Farmers' leaders and Fonterra have welcomed a court decision to impose larger fines for dairy shed effluent offences.
calendar icon 12 February 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
Environment Court Judge Jeff Smith last week lifted the starting point for fines for dairy shed effluent offences from about $4000 to more than $10,000. Judge Smith made the ruling in Tauranga while sentencing a Maketu dairy farmer, and his company, for discharges of dairy effluent entering a tributary of the Little Waihi estuary. Environment Bay of Plenty took the company and farmer to court for two offences relating to discharging dairy shed effluent over land and into a drain.

Judge Smith said it was clear the pollution was not just a one-off but had happened before, and over a period of time.

He said the change in fine levels had been signalled nationally for the past two years, including in an earlier Bay of Plenty prosecution.

"I am in no doubt that the farming community as a whole should be aware that these matters will be treated by the court with significantly greater seriousness than in the past and accordingly that fines have increased," he said

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