Investigations and enforcement

We apply a range of response and enforcement procedures to environmental incidents to remediate any adverse effects and to educate those responsible. We also aim to deter offenders through prosecution and formal legal action to prevent similar incidents recurring.

If an incident or consent non-compliance involves a potentially serious environmental incident or offence, a Resource Management Officer will make a site visit. Our first priority is the safety of our officers, followed by minimising any adverse effect and then investigating the incident.

The RMA Monitoring and Compliance section can call upon expertise from other Environment Canterbury technical staff (scientists, engineers), city and district council staff and external consultants as the situation demands.

Breaching the requirements of the RMA can amount to serious criminal offending and matters are heard in the District Court. Following amendments to the RMA, a conviction can now attract imprisonment for up to two years and fines of up to $300,000 for an individual or $600,000 for a company.

In keeping with the seriousness of the penalties, the RMA Monitoring and Compliance Section has adopted appropriate investigative practices carried out to police standards, such as scene examination, evidence gathering, record keeping, file management, chain of custody for samples and evidence, and cautioning subjects before interviews for all serious environmental incidents. All activities are undertaken in accordance with Environment Canterbury's Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement Guidelines.

Before a final decision on formal enforcement action is made, any recommendation is reviewed for consistency, reasonableness and fairness through an internal enforcement decision panel. An Environment Canterbury lawyer will then review the available evidence and advise whether or not there is a prima facie case. Prosecution cases are reviewed by the Crown lawyers.

If you have breached the conditions of your consent you may recieve one of the following:

  • Notice of non-compliance
  • Letter of formal warning
  • Cost recovery
  • Requesting application for a retrospective resource consent
  • Abatement notice
  • Infringement notice
  • An enforcement order from the Environment Court
  • Alternative Environmental Justice (AEJ)
  • Prosecution.

Formal enforcement decisions are made after assessing the facts of each case under four criteria:

  • Culpability of the alleged offender
  • Degree of the adverse effect on the environment
  • Significance of the incident to the community (public interest)
  • Previous history of non-compliance or offending

Types of enforcement

Formal warning

Written warnings, instructions in compliance monitoring reports, notice of non-compliance and retrospective consents are useful when an offence is minor and the individual or company is a first-time offender.

These inform the offender of the consequences of breaching the RMA and often are enough to deter any repeat offending, eliminating the need for more formal enforcement action.

The majority of incidents and non-compliances are resolved using these enforcement tools.

Abatement notice

An abatement notice is a formal written notice that the RMA specifies can be issued only by a warranted enforcement officer, requiring certain actions to be taken or to cease within a specified time where that enforcement officer believes on reasonable grounds (on the balance of probabilities) that there is or is likely to be a contravention of the RMA and/or an adverse effect on the environment.

Infringement notice

An infringement notice is a written notice of an alleged infringement offence under the RMA, which is issued in accordance with the Summary Proceedings Act.

An infringement notice requires the payment of a fee of an amount fixed by regulations. Payment of the fine does not lead to the recording of a criminal conviction.

Infringement notices are suitable for responding quickly to relatively moderate offences that do not warrant prosecution.

Enforcement order

An enforcement order is an order made by the Environment Court that may require, in the opinion of the Court, certain actions to be taken or ceased, or money to be paid, within a specified time.

An application can be made by any person to the Environment Court to issue an enforcement order and it is that Court which identifies the matters of which must be satisfied before issuing the notice.

Breaching an enforcement order issued by the Court is in itself an offence for which you may be prosecuted.

Interim enforcement order

An interim enforcement order is similar to an enforcement order and is used in circumstances where the need for the order is urgent.

Search warrants

Where Environment Canterbury has knowledge of a serious offence against the act and intends to gather evidence which could result in punitive action, legislation requires that a search warrant must be obtained.

We can apply to a registrar of the court when we believe, on reasonable grounds, that there is some item at a certain address or in a vehicle or any place, which:

  • In respect of which an offence punishable by imprisonment has been or is suspected of having been committed; and/or
  • Will be evidence of an offence punishable by imprisonment; and/or
  • Is intended to be used for the purposes of committing an offence punishable by imprisonment.
Prosecutions

Environment Canterbury undertakes prosecutions where there has been a significant contravention of the RMA. The fundamental objectives of a prosecution are to punish those involved, to act as a deterrent to other resource users, to protect the community and environment, and to provide justice to the victims of the offending.

There are four essential conditions to be met before starting a prosecution action:

  • That there is sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case
  • That it is considered to be in the public interest
  • That the environmental effect of the breach warrants court action
  • The culpability of the offender.

Environment Canterbury also takes into consideration the party’s previous environmental history of compliance.

Alternative Environmental Justice

Environment Canterbury has developed an Alternative Environmental Justice (AEJ) scheme which it applies to those incidents which are considered to be beyond the criteria of an infringement notice but fall short of the threshold for prosecution.

The scheme criteria are considered by officers in relevant situations but can also be applied for by the party being investigated. In effect the AEJ scheme aims to resolve environmental offending in an alternative forum that supplements the District Court, in a manner that allows the offender to put right the harm caused by their offending. 

All activities are undertaken in accordance with Environment Canterbury's Compliance and Enforcement Guidelines and Guidelines for implementing Alternative Environmental Justice.

Enforcement response

Abatement notices

Dairy
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Wallace Canterbury LimitedCRC15743020/09/2017Cease and continue to cease the discharge of wastewater to land that does not comply with CRC157430Leaches Road, HororataContinuing Abatement Notice
PIC New Zealand LimitedCRC95200218/10/2017Cease and continue to cease the following: discharge of odour which is offensive or objectionable, beyond the boundary of the property.Main South Road & Burnham Road, Burnham18/11/2018
Aitken Road Dairies LimitedCRC15061011/05/2017Cease and continue to cease ponding of effluentAitkens Road and Hororata Road, SewlynContinuing Abatement Notice
McIntyre, Douglas RobertCRC001125607/04/2017Cease and continue to cease ponding of effluent, storage of effluent in unsealed storage system.MorvenContinuing Abatement Notice
FA & R J Lamborn LtdCRC12272123/03/2017Cease & continue to cease ponding of effluentGreendale - KirweeContinuing Abatement Notice
Geoff Wallace Holdings LtdCRC08077015/02/2017Cease and continue to cease; no ponding of dairy shed effluent no storage of dairy shed effluent/solids in or on structures not sealed or maintained to prevent leakage cease using third effluent pond to store dairy shed effluent until such time it is sealedTawai Ikawai Rd, IkawaiContinuing Abatement Notice
Deltop Dairy LtdCRC13676109/02/2017Cease & continue to cease application of dairy shed effluent that does not comply with CRC136761Morven Beach Rd, WaimateContinuing Abatement Notice
WHL Devondale LtdCRC13595818/01/2017Cease and continue to cease ponding of effluentTemukaContinuing Abatement Notice
Discharge of contaminants to land where it may enter water
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Meyer, Alister John2/11/2017Prevent any discharge fromsilage pit to the nearby tributary of the Hook River.Waimate15/11/2017
Sleek and Shine Ltd16/10/2017Cease and continue to cease the discharge of contaminants to land in circumstances which may result in that contaminant (or any other contaminant emanating as a result of natural processes from the contaminant) entering water15 Georges Holmes Rd, Rolleston16/12/2017
Barson Distributors Ltd16/10/2017Cease and continue to cease the discharge of contaminants to land in circumstances which may result in that contaminant (or any other contaminant emanating as a result of natural processes from the contaminant) entering water15 Georges Holmes Rd, Rolleston16/12/2017
OCW 2011 Ltd16/10/2017Cease and continue to cease the discharge of contaminants to land in circumstances which may result in that contaminant (or any other contaminant emanating as a result of natural processes from the contaminant) entering water15 Georges Holmes Rd, Rolleston16/12/2017
South Pacific Hydraulics Ltd 7/08/2017Cease discharge of contaminants onto land that may enter waterChristchurchContinuing Abatement Notice
Discharge of contaminants to water
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Dickson, Paul21/11/2017Cease and continue to cease discharging any contaminants into the lake on your propertyTimaru29/01/2018
Fenlea Farms Ltd 22/08/2017Cease and continue to cease tock access to spring fed plains stream TemukaContinuing Abatement Notice
Discharge to air - industrial
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Marshall, Grant 2/08/2017Do not undertake discharge to air from the storage of wood wasteTimaruContinuing Abatement Notice
Discharge to air - rural
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Ian Douglas Lowery31/10/2017Cease & continue to cease discharge to air burning of contaminantsLeeston7/11/2017
Bennett, Lee Paul 4/09/2017Cease & continue to cease discharge to air burning of contaminantsChristchurchContinuing Abatement Notice
Land use
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
King, Russell James 6/11/2017Cease & continue to cease discharge to land of household rubbish and animal carcass.Timaru29/01/2018
LeRoy, Michael Benny (Director)08/03/2017Remove all end of life tyres in any formRacecourse Rd, Amberley08/03/2017
LeRoy, Michael Benny (Director)22/02/2017Cease the discharge of contaminants namely tyres in any form onto land. Cease storage, receiving, and depositing of tyresRacecourse Rd, AmberleyContinuing Abatement Notice
LeRoy, Michael Benny22/02/2017Cease the discharge of contaminants namely tyres in any form onto land. Cease storage, receiving, and depositing of tyresRacecourse Rd, AmberleyContinuing Abatement Notice
Hislop, Warren Miller22/02/2017Cease the discharge of contaminants namely tyres in any form onto land. Cease storage, receiving, and depositing of tyresRacecourse Rd, AmberleyContinuing Abatement Notice
Tyre Recycling Services NZ Ltd22/02/2017Cease the discharge of contaminants namely tyres in any form onto land. Cease storage, receiving, and depositing of tyresRacecourse Rd, AmberleyContinuing Abatement Notice
Clark, Melodie Anne Merrie22/02/2017Cease the discharge of contaminants namely tyres in any form onto land. Cease storage, receiving, and depositing of tyresRacecourse Rd, AmberleyContinuing Abatement Notice
Tyre Shredding Ltd22/02/2017Cease the discharge of contaminants namely tyres in any form onto land. Cease storage, receiving, and depositing of tyresRacecourse Rd, AmberleyContinuing Abatement Notice
Bendon, Peter George22/02/2017Cease the discharge of contaminants namely tyres in any form onto land. Cease storage, receiving, and depositing of tyresRacecourse Rd, AmberleyContinuing Abatement Notice
Jamison Investments Ltd22/02/2017Cease the discharge of contaminants namely tyres in any form onto land. Cease storage, receiving, and depositing of tyresRacecourse Rd, AmberleyContinuing Abatement Notice
Stock in waterways
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Stormwater
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Martin Ernest Mason18/05/2017Cease and continue to cease discharge of sedimentOld Port Levy Road, PurauContinuing Abatement Notice
Lyttelton Port Company LimitedCRC96054910/05/2017Cease discharge of coal dust laden stormwater into coastal waterTe Awaparahi Bay, LytteltonContinuing Abatement Notice
Water take - bore
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Parkin, Russell Maurice (Mr)CRC03110004/12/0217Cease over taking water Washbournes Road, Southbridge1/12/2017
Mr D B & Mr J G HayesCRC990640.211/08/2017Action prohibited: The taking of water from L36/0385 under resource consent CRC990640.2 that does not comply with condition 2 of resource consent CRC990640.2.Darrochs Road And Burns Road, MEAD18/08/2017
Hayes, Mr D B & M J G CRC052748.214/07/2017Cease taking water from bore L36/2004 that does not comply with condition 10 of CRC052748.2BanksideContinuing Abatement Notice
Water take - surface
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Apollo Dairy LimitedCRC15287013/09/2017The taking of water from unnamed tributary of Sisters Stream at map reference NZMS 260 O32:312-321 and NZMS 260 O32:324-322 under resource consent CRC152870 that does not comply with condition 2 of resource consent CRC152870.Sisters Road, Parnassus14/09/2017
Haka Valley Irrigation LtdCRC13216521/02/2017Do not irrigate; land that is not within the irrigation scheme command area, illustrated in CRC132165, land that is not covered by a water supply agreement between the land owner and Haka Valley Irrigation Ltd condition 8 CRC132165Hakataramea RiverContinuing Abatement Notice
Haka Valley Irrigation LtdCRC13216509/02/2017Do not undertake the taking of water under CRC132165 to supply properties that do not meet the requirements of condition 18 of that consentHakataramea RiverContinuing Abatement Notice to 14/03/2020
Works in Waterways
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
No abatement notices

Infringement notices

An infringement notice is a written notice of an alleged infringement offence under the RMA, which is issued in accordance with the Summary Proceedings Act.

Infringement notices~~
Name of offenderIncident DateAmountIncidentLocation
Eyrewell Dairy Limited6/11/2017$750Stock acccess to waterwaySwannanoa
Eyrewell Dairy Limited6/11/2017$500Stock access to waterway, breach of LWRPSwannanoa
Canterbury Landscape Supplies Ltd10/09/2017$1,000Discharge of contaminants, namely odour beyond property boundaryChristchurch
Higgs, Wayne Edward6/10/2017$300Outdoor burn in clean air zoneChristchurch
Walton, Peter Raymond7-9/10/2017$300Outdoor burn in clean air zoneTimaru
Lowery, Ian5/10/2018$300Burning contaminants Leeston
Cooke, Bradley10/09/2017$300Burning contaminantsAmberley
Morven, Glenavy Ikawai Irrigation Co17/08/2017$500Diversion of the Waikakahi Stream, not adherent to the conditions within Resource Consent CRC 176043Timaru
Meyer, Alister John16/08/2018$750Discharge of contaminants, namely leachate from a silage pit onto land.Waimate
Williams, Peter16/08/2017$500Stock in waterwayWaimate
Cunningham, Scott16/08/2017$500Stock in waterwayWaimate
Pocklington, Bob3/08/2017$1,000Ponding of wash water onto land.Hororata
Bathurst Coal Limited25/06/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Tara Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC170541.Coalgate
Bathurst Coal Limited14/07/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Tara Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC170541.Coalgate
Bathurst Coal Limited2/08/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Tara Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC170541.Coalgate
Bathurst Coal Limited4/08/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Tara Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC170541.Coalgate
Bathurst Coal Limited14/08/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Tara Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC170541.Coalgate
Bathurst Coal Limited15/08/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Tara Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC170541.Coalgate
Bathurst Coal Limited18/08/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Tara Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC170541.Coalgate
Bathurst Coal Limited21/08/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Tara Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC170541.Coalgate
Bathurst Coal Limited23/08/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Tara Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC170541.Coalgate
Bathurst Coal Limited14/07/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Bush Gully Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC173823Coalgate
Bathurst Coal Limited28/07/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Bush Gully Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC173823Coalgate
Bathurst Coal Limited13/08/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Bush Gully Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC173823Coalgate
Bathurst Coal Limited14/08/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Bush Gully Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC173823Coalgate
Bathurst Coal Limited22/08/2017$750Discharge of sediment-laden water into Bush Gully Stream, from a coal mine operation, in breach of Resource Consent CRC173823Coalgate
M A Bruce Ltd3/08/2017$1,000Ponding of wash water onto land.Hororata
M A Bruce Ltd3/08/2017$750Ponding of wash water onto land.Hororata
Wallace Canterbury Ltd3/08/2017$1,000Ponding of wash water onto land.Hororata
Apex Trade Group Ltd3/08/2017$750Discharge of paint wash water, into Wai-iti StreamChristchurch
Bennett, Lee Paul2/08/2017$300Burning contaminantsChristchurch
Texco Drilling and Piling Ltd / Texco Excavating Ltd26/07/2017$750Discharge of sediment laden water into Wai-iti streamChristchurch
Gibson, Alan Robert20/07/2017$500Unlawful extraction of gravel from Hook riverLower Hook
South Pacific Hydraulics Ltd4/07/2017$1,000Discharge of contaminants,onto land and subsequently into storm water systemChristchurch
Upston Contracting Ltd13/06/2017$1,000Disposed of concrete blockwork onto the Waiau Riverbed and into the Waiau RiverCheviot
Sommerville, Baden Stuart9/06/2017$500Stock access to waterwayMt Somers
Kaiapoi Radiators 2017 Ltd16/05/2017$1,000Discharge of radiator coolant, storm water network Kaiapoi
Giddings, David Sansom15/05/2017$500Stock in waterwayFairlie
Tiopira, Hoani10/05/2017$300Burning contaminantsChristchurch
Te Puna Wai Dairy Farm Ltd10/05/2017$750Stock access to waterwaySpringston
Tainui Dairy Limited8/05/2017$750Contravened an abatement notice, ponding of effluent Morven
Tainui Dairy Limited8/05/2017$750Ponding of effluentMorven
Potgietner, Sarel8/05/2017$750Ponding of effluentMorven
Wells, Johnny20/04/2017$750Ponding of effluentClandeboye
Goldstein Dairies Ltd20/04/2017$750Ponding of effluentClandeboye
Calder, Marc13/04/2017$300Outdoor fire in a residential areaChristchurch
Lyttelon Port Company 10/04/2017$1,000Discharge of coal dustTe Awaparahi Bay
Aitkens Road Dairies Ltd4/04/2017$750Ponding of effluentCoalgate
Timperley, David George27/03/2017$750Ponding of effluentGeraldine
Russell, Gregory David27/03/2017$750Ponding of effluentGeraldine
McGiffert, Stewart17/03/2017$500Stock access to waterwayWaimate
Lamborn, Daryl Paul16/03/2017$750Ponding of effluentGreendale
Alto Holdings Limited15/03/2017$750Ponding of effluentMorven
Martin, Dwayne14/03/2017$750Ponding of effluentTemuka
Manson, Simon Campbell9/03/2017$750Ponding of effluentMotukarara
Rossendale Holdings Ltd3/03/2017$500Stock access to waterwayTai Tapu
Alliance Group Ltd (Smithfield)2/03/2017$1,000Offensive & Objectionable odour beyond property boundaryTimaru
Kingsland, Christopher26/02/2017$300Burning contaminantsChristchurch
South Canterbury By-Products Ltd23/02/2017$750Contravention of an abatement notice, objectionable odour beyond property boundaryWashdyke
South Canterbury By-Products Ltd23/02/2017$1,000Offensive & Objectionable odour beyond property boundaryWashdyke
Flett, Katie16/02/2017$750Ponding of effluentBankside
South Canterbury By-Products Ltd10/02/2017$750Contravention of an abatement notice, objectionable odour beyond property boundaryWashdyke
South Canterbury By-Products Ltd10/02/2017$1,000Offensive & Objectionable odour beyond property boundaryWashdyke
Geoff Wallace Holdings Ltd1/02/2017$750Permitted a discharge of contaminants, namely dairy effluent, when that discharge was not expressly allowed.Waimate
Ikawai Dairy Farm Ltd1/02/2017$750Discharge of dairy effluent from the grit-trap & effluent holding pond Waimate
Murphy, John31/01/2017$500Stock access to waterwayLeeston
Sims Pacific Metals Ltd25/01/2017$1,000Discharge of rocol sapphire aqua 2 coolant to landChristchurch
Deltop Dairy Ltd20/01/2017$750Discharge of dairy effluent from the grit-trap & effluent holding pond Waimate
Moffatt, Ryan20/01/2017$750Discharge of dairy effluent from the grit-trap & effluent holding pond Waimate