The Waikato Regional Council has filed seven charges under the Resource Management Act against a Reporoa dry stock farmer for unlawfully damming and taking water through the height of the 2013 drought.
“This is the first prosecution taken by this council in nearly 20 years for taking water when there was no entitlement to do so,” said the council’s investigations manager Patrick Lynch.
“It is a reflection of the changing focus on a very valuable resource.
“The entire region had to deal with the challenges of the drought. Farming practices had to be amended accordingly.
“This farmer elected to take large volumes of water from a stream running through his property for irrigation of pastures. We are alleging that he had no lawful entitlement to that water and he acted without regard for environmental effect or downstream users who were trying to lawfully work within water restrictions.”
During the course of the council investigation it was determined that the farmer had been unlawfully taking water over the last four summers.
The case will be called in the Rotorua District Court on 17 October 2013.