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Published: 2017-08-25 07:45:00

Two Waikato farming enterprises have been convicted and fined a total of $49,000 for unlawful discharges of dairy effluent on a Waitetuna property, near Raglan.

Acorn Farms Limited (the landowner) and A & T Dairies Limited (a sharemilker on the farm at the time), were fined $24,500 each by Judge Kirkpatrick in the Hamilton District Court this week for offences under the Resource Management Act.  The effluent discharges occurred over a two-day period in October 2016.  

The prosecution, brought by Waikato Regional Council, followed a complaint from a member of the public. A subsequent council inspection discovered substantial ponding and overland flow of dairy effluent from an irrigator. A quantity of that effluent made its way to a tributary of the Waitetuna River that flows to Whaingaroa/Raglan Harbour.

Judge Kirkpatrick noted that there had been a “very poor relationship” between the landowner and sharemilker commenting that “had the principals of the two companies worked better together, the discharge could have been substantially mitigated or possibly even avoided”.

“Ultimately, they must share the responsibility for what occurred.”