A property development company has been fined nearly $60,000 after almost 10 tonnes of extra sediment is estimated to have flowed into Te Kowhai stream and the harbour at Raglan due to a failure to comply with resource consents.
Bayview Raglan Limited, which pleaded guilty, was fined $14,875 on each of four charges related to its development at Lorenzen Bay, Raglan.
In her Hamilton District Court decision, Judge Melanie Harland said the "serious" offending in a "high risk erosion zone" involved "a total failure by the defendant to comply with the resource consent conditions relating to soil and sediment control".
Information from Environment Waikato, which brought the prosecution, estimated 20.64 tonnes of sediment from the development entered the stream and the harbour over the six month period in 2007 related to the charges. It was estimated that sediment discharges would have been 10.79 tonnes if the consents had been complied with, the judge said.
"I am of the view that the offending was serious and that the defendant was grossly negligent relying on its subcontractor to comply with the resource consent conditions."
EW resource use programme manager Grant Blackie said Bayview Raglan Limited was no longer involved with the development and that he was satisfied the site no longer presented a risk due to sediment loss. He said it was not known exactly what environmental impact the offending had but it was important that developers complied with resource consents related to sediment controls so that the health of waterways and aquatic life were not threatened.
"Our work in monitoring compliance with developers’ resource consents at Raglan supports the work of landowners, the Waikato District Council and Whaingaroa Harbour Care, who are working at Raglan to improve the health of the harbour and waterways.
"We will continue to remain vigilant and, as this case shows, offenders risk substantial fines if their actions warrant prosecution in court," said Mr Blackie.