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Published: 2004-12-14 00:00:00

A piggery near Tuakau has been convicted and fined for illegally discharging piggery effluent into a farm drain.

PIC New Zealand Ltd, a subsidiary company of Mainland Products Ltd, is to pay $15,000 to an environmental enhancement group and over $25,000 in costs to Environment Waikato. The company was also charged with discharging piggery effluent to land at an excessive rate where it may have entered groundwater.

Environment Waikato visited the piggery after an anonymous complaint in September 2003. A significant amount of effluent was found in a farm drain leading to a small stream which is a tributary of the Waikato River.

PIC staff thought that the spill occurred about two months before but had made no attempt to clean up the effluent. An excessive application of untreated effluent beyond what the company’s resource consent allowed was also found.

A restorative justice process was initiated by the company and a conference was held with company representatives, Huakina Development Trust, a neighbour and Environment Waikato.

The parties agreed that PIC should give $15,000 to the Harker Reserve Committee, a volunteer group, which is restoring the Harker Reserve near Tuakau, an area of regenerating bush and scrub near Tuakau. The group will use the money to plant native tree species, fence a section of stream and improve access to a waterfall and PIC will help with planting.

The company also agreed to pay Environment Waikato’s costs, amounting to $25,000. Judge F.W.M McElrea congratulated both PIC and Environment Waikato on the outcome of the restorative justice process and acknowledged the apology from PIC’s senior management.

The company had committed to making substantial improvements to the piggery to reduce the risk of future problems.

This media item was current at its release date. The facts or figures it contains may have changed since its original publication.