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Published: 2016-05-02 00:00:00

A Waikato company and a landowner have both received a formal warning after a breach of rules designed to protect Lake Taupo from nitrogen leaching.

The formal warnings, from Waikato Regional Council, will be taken into account should there be any other breaches in future.

The complicated case involved the company grazing stock, for at least a month, on land that was only supposed to be used for forestry.  That means the amount of nitrogen leaching from the land to the lake over time, due to the cattle being grazed there, could exceed the permitted amount.

“There has been a very significant public investment in the protection of Lake Taupo and it is important we hold people to account when they breach the rules,” said the council’s farming services manager Nicole Botherway.

“A warning is judged appropriate in this case, given the admission of fault and the amount of excess nitrogen likely to have been involved. But any further breaches by the parties could warrant a more significant response.”

The case follows a similar one last year where a farmer who failed to meet his farming consent conditions near Taupo was also formally warned over the breach.

“Local people, the council and the trust are determined to protect the integrity of the rules protecting Lake Taupo.  We will continue to respond to reports of breaches of consent conditions and take action where appropriate,” said Mrs Botherway.

“We need the public to be our eyes and ears and, if they see cattle grazing in forestry areas, they should alert the council’s Taupo office on 0800 800 401.”