Horizons Regional Council prosecutes Rangitīkei District Council and Coles Transport

Horizons Regional Council acknowledges today’s sentencing of Rangitīkei District Council (RDC) for untreated wastewater discharge into the Hautapu Stream near Taihape, and Coles Transport for effluent discharge from a stock truck wash-down into the Rangitīkei River last year.

Horizons strategy and regulation group manager Dr Nic Peet says both parties were sentenced today by Environment Court Judge Dwyer, who imposed fines of $60,000 to RDC and $101,250 to Coles Transport.

“RDC was fined for an illegal discharge of untreated human effluent near Taihape into the Hautapu Stream following a number of complaints from public,” says Dr Peet.

“Ninety per cent of the fine will be paid to Horizons. Once ratepayer costs have been recovered, any remaining funds will be used to enhance the stream in conjunction with the community.

“Coles Transport were fined for the failure of a large open-air effluent pond which serviced a truck wash-down. This resulted in a discharge over a cliff and into the Rangitīkei River for a period of months.

“Horizons is grateful to the initial report to our pollution hotline about a year ago, which was followed up by council compliance officers. 

“Horizons acknowledges that both parties cooperated in the investigations and entered early guilty pleas. In doing so, they have recognised their wrong doing and assisted with saving considerable ratepayer costs. 

“Council takes their role as an environmental regulator seriously. We have an active compliance monitoring programme and also respond to pollution incidents.

“Members of our community are encouraged to report any environmental incidents to our 24 hour Pollution Hotline on 0508 800 800.”