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Published: 2012-06-11 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council has today been contacted by a property manager who believes oil discharged into the Waikato River on Saturday came from his city building.

The council received a report about 10.30am on Saturday from a member of the public who saw a large amount of oil discharging into the Waikato River from a stormwater outlet near the Claudelands Bridge.

The source was traced by Hamilton City Council staff to a stormwater sump in Worley Place. However, an obvious cause for the oil entering the stormwater system was not identified at the time.

Regional council compliance and education manager Rob Dragten applauded the property manager for coming forward.

“We have received an explanation on how the spill occurred and will be meeting to gather further information around the sequence of events before and after the oil spill.

“Until we have completed the investigation, a decision on legal action cannot be made. In light of the explanation we have so far been given, one of the considerations we will take into account is whether statutory defences may apply under the Resource Management Act,” he said.

The Resource Management Act provides for statutory defences against prosecution in certain circumstances, such as where a discharge occurs from an unforeseen mechanical failure.

“We understand how strongly people feel about the polluting of our rivers and streams, and will ensure a thorough and robust investigation is carried out,” Mr Dragten said.