Company convicted of contaminating stream connecting to Waikato River

A company in the Waikato region has been convicted and fined more than $60,000 dollars for illegally discharging chicken manure and leachate waste water into a stream connecting to the Waikato River.

Remediation (NZ) Limited, trading as Revital Group operates a composting and quarry facility in Cambridge.

A complaint from a member of the public led to the Waikato Regional Council prosecuting the Remediation (NZ) Limited  which has previously been convicted of breaching the Resource Management Act in Taranaki in 2010.

Council staff responding to the complaint tracked the contamination back to the company's property.  Enquiries revealed that a large, trailer mounted pump had been hired by the company and used to pump approximately 1.6 million litres of leachate from a holding pond into the nearby stream. The leachate contained high levels of e.coli which can affect human health.  

Convictions and the fine were imposed last week in the Hamilton District Court by Judge Melanie Harland who stated there were "very poor management practices and understanding about the company's obligations under its resource consents".

Judge Harland said evidence suggested the company was "favouring economic considerations over environmental compliance".

The judge also noted the need for specific deterrence, given the company had a previous conviction and as it did not appear to have "learnt its lesson". 

The total amount the company has been fined is $64,125