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‘Careless’ company receives large fine – Waikato Regional Council

A Waikato based farming company has been convicted and fined $80,500 in the Hamilton District Court for the unlawful discharges of farm animal effluent to land that occurred in August and December 2020.

Darach Dairy Limited was sentenced on 20 March 2024 by District Court Judge Melinda Dickey on two charges under the Resource Management Act as a result of a prosecution taken by Waikato Regional Council.

The council inspected the Tauhei property in August 2020 after being notified by a member of the public of effluent discharge issues on the farm. Council staff found large volumes of animal effluent overflowing from a sand trap and a large area of ponded effluent from irrigation which had flowed to a neighbouring property.

In December that same year, the council found similar over-irrigation issues and evidence that historic discharges had occurred. The discharges were a result of poor effluent management and inadequate effluent infrastructure.

In passing sentence, Judge Dickey stated that “the company was careless and failed in its responsibilities to provide a safe and effective disposal system, and in its oversight of their contract milker”.

 

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