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Failure to check irrigator leads to $72,000 fine

Monday, 25 June 2012 4:05 p.m.

Armer Farms (N.I.) Limited was today fined $72,000 plus costs for the unlawful discharge of dairy effluent after a prosecution brought against the company by Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

The farm's effluent irrigation system failed, resulting in dairy effluent ponding in a paddock, which then flowed across land and into a stream near the Bay of Plenty town of Maketū, in October 2010. The stream travels through other properties below the dairy farm before emerging at Newdicks Beach. 

Armer Farms (N.I.) Limited had previously admitted the charge in the Tauranga District Court on 31 May 2012.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Pollution Prevention Manager Nick Zaman said the dairy industry had been working hard to give farmers advice on their legal responsibilities to protect waterways.

"This sort of event is really discouraging for all the farmers and industry partners striving to exceed expectations - and for the farmers and farm owners who comply with their resource consents. Unfortunately, others fail to take the responsibility they owe the community.

"It's unfortunate that this has come before courts because the unlawful discharge of dairy effluent is easily avoidable with the proper maintenance and checks in place.

"While we would prefer that there were no prosecutions at all, we do hope today's sentence serves as a reminder to others that the courts, Council, and the wider community, will not tolerate the pollution of our environment.

 "This case in particular highlights the lack of tolerance the community has for this issue. It was a concerned member of the public who called our Pollution Hotline to report it. We thank her and urge others to do the same."

Members of the public are encouraged to call the Bay of Plenty Regional Council's 24-7 Pollution Hotline - 0800 884 883 - if they have any environmental concerns.

For information and advice on farm management visit www.dairynz.co.nz or call your Bay of Plenty Regional Council Pollution Prevention Officer on 0800 884 880.

Ends

For further media information please contact:
Beck Vass, Communications Advisor, beck.vass@boprc.govt.nz, 0800 884 881 extn 8152 or 027 505 2587.

Armer Farms unlawful effluent discharge highres