A Waikato farmer has been fined $57,375 for the unlawful discharge of effluent to a local stream from a storage pond.
Adolf Hardegger and Hardegger Trustees Ltd were each sentenced on three charges, with fines of $11,900 on each charge, to a total of $71,400.
Both Hardegger and his company were charged individually with illegal earthworks relating to the Oreti River, in which water from the river was diverted. They were also both charged with illegal earthworks involving the straightening of Starvation Creek and the illegal installation of a culvert in the creek.
During sentencing, Judge Brian Dwyer placed significant weight on the affected area being a sensitive habitat for endangered species such as the black-billed gulls and galaxiids (a freshwater fish species).
The judge also signed an enforcement order, requiring Hardegger to remedy the work.