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
Aitken Road Dairies LimitedCRC15061011/05/2017Cease and continue to cease ponding of effluentAitkens Road and Hororata Road, SewlynContinuing Abatement Notice
Rotoma Farms LtdCRC11018412/04/2017Cease & continue to cease discharge of dairy effluent and wash-down water to land until an appropriate Chemigation or RPZ backflow prevention device has been installedMorvenContinuing 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
Coughlan Contracting Ltd16/12/2016Cease and continue to cease, deposition of any material in, on or under the bed of the Chatterton RiverChatterton RiverbedContinuing Abatement Notice
Discharge of contaminants to water
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Discharge to air - industrial
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
South Canterbury By-Products (2009) LtdCRC07069801/02/2017Cease discharge to air, condition 21 CRC070698 beyond the external boundaryWashdykeContinuing Abatement Notice
Vincent, Brian & Bachelor, Murray09/01/2017Cease and continue to cease discharging sawdust into airJellicoe Road, TimaruContinuing Abatement Notice
Solvent Rescue LimitedCRC12094518/08/2016Cease discharge of contaminants to air which is offensive or objectionable beyond the boundaryColeridge St, ChristchurchContinuing Abatement Notice
Discharge to air - rural
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Bennett, Lee27/03/2017Cease & continue to cease discharge of contaminants into air from burningTurners Rd, OuruhiaContinuing Abatement Notice
Land use
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
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
2016 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
MFS Ventures Ltd18/08/2016Cease allowing stock access to the bed & banks of the Hakataramea River. Cease the discharge of contaminants into water from stock accessing the bed and banks of the Hakataramea RiverHakataramea Valley Rd, HakatarameaContinuing Abatement Notice
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
Fohn Limited27/09/2016Cease & continue to cease discharge of contaminants to landMariners Cove, Cass BayContinuing abatement notice
Jarvis-Li, Michael Robert27/09/2016Cease and continue to cease discharge to waterMariners Cove, Cass BayContinuing abatement notice
Water take - bore
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Fallgate Farm LimitedCRC97093412/05/2017Carry out a verification test on the water measuring device Submit a copy of the verification test K38/0663Stewart Road, Orari29/09/2017
J R & R M Bowan & T M SimpsonCRC082926.312/05/2017Carry out a verification test on the water measuring device Submit a copy of the verification test K38/0786Farm Road, Coopers Creek29/09/2017
Hurst Dairying LtdCRC14270523/11/2016Prohibited the taking of water that does not comply with CRC142705 condition 2Fernside Rd, RangioraContinuing Abatement Notice
Leonard, Patrick JosephCRC992497.223/11/2016Prohibited the taking of water from bore K38/1089 does not comply with condition 4 or 5 of CRC992497.2Temuka Orari HighwayContinuing Abatement Notice
Leonard, Gary PatrickCRC992497.223/11/2016Prohibited from taking of water from bore K38/1089 that does not comply with CRC992497.2 conditions 4 or 5Temuka Orari HighwayContinuing Abatement Notice
White Gold LtdCRC951216.121/11/2016Cease and continue to cease, abstraction of water, bore M36/0450 at a rate greater than 21 litres per second and a 14-day volume of 19,656 cubic metres as set out in condition 1 CRC951216.1Ellesmere Junction Rd, SelwynContinuing Abatement Notice
Riches, Mr & Mrs B L & S E RichesCRC06151117/11/2016Prohibited from taking water that exceeds daily volume CRC061511 condition 4 L36/0593Leeston Dunsandel Rd, KillinchyContinuing Abatement Notice
Alfeld, Mr M D & Mrs L TCRC15683907/11/2016Do not undertake, the taking of water from bore M36/4252 Condition 2 CRC156839Harmans Rd, LeestonContinuing Abatement Notice
The Trustees of the Estate of Vicki Anne CowanCRC15683907/11/2016You must not undertake, the taking of water from bore M36/4252, condition 2 CRC156839Harmans Rd, LeestonContinuing Abatement Notice
Demeter Fields LtdCRC15132203/11/2016Prohibited from taking water from Oakdale Stream K38/2083 K38:9329-7079 CRC151322 condition 3Oakdale StreamContinuing Abatement Notice
Wade, Christopher DonaldCRC030884.102/11/2016Prohibited to take water bore M35/5937 CRC030884.1 that does not comply with condition 3Coldstream Rd, RangioraContinuing Abatement Notice
Lancaster, Murray Gordon18/10/2016Unauthorised abstraction of water M36/3964Ellesmere Junction Rd, Selwyn DistrictContinuing Abatement Notice
Terracostosa LimitedCRC16833528/10/2016Cease and continue to cease until an adaptive management assessment has been provided condition 7 Abstraction from bore M36/5351 (does not prohibit water take condition 32, part of user groupRidge Rd, SelwynContinuing Abatement Notice
Coles, Mr & Mrs B C & M A CRC01108528/10/2016Cease & continue to cease taking water until a water meter is installedMain Sth Rd, ChristchurchContinuing Abatement Notice
Benkris Farm LimitedCRC111076.228/09/2016Cease & continue to cease abstraction of water from Bores M36/7760 & M36/20625 until an adaptive management assessment has been submittedBurnham School Road, SelwynContinuing Abatement Notice
Water take - surface
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
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
R & P McIntosh LtdCRC14257708/02/2017Prohibited from taking surface water from point N33/0450 under CRC142577 Condition 3Pahau RiverContinuing Abatement Notice
Bagrie, Peter Dale & Anne GayleCRC000085.128/10/2016Cease and continue to cease the taking of water M35/11232Bradleys Rd, OhokaContinuing Abatement Notice
Works in Waterways
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Dewhirst Land Company LtdCRC16856322/12/2016Cease & continue to cease, any and all works within the bed of the Selwyn River contrary to CRC168563 and/or contrary to Section 13 RMASelwyn RiverContinuing Abatement Notice
Nelson, Greg25/11/2016Cease earthworks in th ebed of Sisters CreekSisters CreekContinuing Abatement Notice
Stuart Tarbotton Contractors LimitedCRC14319531/08/2016Cease excavating gravel, sand, and other natural material that does not comply with CRC143195Ashburton RiverContinuing abatement notice

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
Murphy, John31/01/2017$500Stock disturbed the bed of Birdlings Brook, resulting in puggingLeeston
Kingsland, Christopher26/02/2017$300Burning prohibited material, metal, rubber, treated timber and plasticChristchurch
Goldstein Dairies Ltd20/04/2017$750Discharge of contaminants, namely dairy effluent, resulting in ponding onto land.Clandeboye
Timperley, David George27/03/2017$750Discharge of contaminants, namely dairy effluent, resulting in ponding onto land.Geraldine
Russell, Gregory David27/03/2017$750Discharge of contaminants, namely dairy effluent, resulting in ponding onto land.Geraldine
McGiffert, Stewart17/03/2017$500Permitted stock to disturb the bed of a stream, resulting in pugging, in breach of rule 5.68 Condition 3. (a) of the Land and Water Regional Plan.Waimate
Lamborn, Daryl Paul16/03/2017$750Discharge of contaminants, namely dairy effluent, resulting in ponding onto land.Greendale
Martin, Dwayne14/03/2017$750Discharge of contaminants, namely dairy effluent, resulting in ponding onto land.Temuka
Manson, Simon Campbell9/03/2017$750Discharge of contaminants, namely dairy effluent, resulting in ponding onto land.Motukarara
Rossendale Holdings Ltd3/03/2017$500Stock disturbed the bed of the Halswell RiverTai Tapu
Alliance Group Ltd (Smithfield)2/03/2017$1,000Offensive and objectionable odour discharge into air beyond the consented discharge boundary of the property.Timaru
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 boundary CRC070700Washdyke
Flett, Katie16/02/2017$750Discharge of contaminants, namely dairy effluent, resulting in ponding onto land.Bankside
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 boundary CRC070698Washdyke
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$750Permitted a discharge of contaminants, namely dairy effluent, when that discharge was not expressly allowed.Waimate
Sims Pacific Metals Ltd25/01/2017$1,000Discharge of contaminants, Rocol Sapphire Aqua 2 coolant, from an industrial/trade premises onto land.Christchurch
Deltop Dairy Ltd20/01/2017$750Ponding of effluentWaimate
Moffatt, Ryan20/01/2017$750Permitted a discharge of contaminants, namely dairy effluent, when that discharge was not expressly allowed.Waimate
Twiss, Julian11/01/2017$500Permitted stock access to the riverbed of the L1Lincoln
Schrider, Brent Thomas13/01/2017$750Ponding of effluentTemuka
WHL Devondale Ltd13/01/2017$750Ponding of effluentTemuka
Suckling, Garth12/01/2017$300Outdoor fire in a residential areaRangiora
Low, Robin Wayne9/01/2017$500Depositing domestic rubbish on the Waimate Creek bed.Waimate
Bennett, Lee9/12/2016$300Burning contaminantsChristchurch
Metro Advances Ltd7/12/2016$750Discharge of paint wash into a sump connected to the Christchurch City Council storm water networkChristchurch
CB Civil & Drainage Ltd5/11/2016$750Permitted a discharge of contaminants, namely sediment-laden water, onto and into the Christchurch City Council storm water drain.Christchurch
Melhopt, Jared5/12/2016$300Burning metal scraps, cans, insulation materialOhoka
Rushbrook Farm Ltd26/10/2016$300Burning prohibited materials in a farm pitDoyleston
Illingworth, James William29/11/2016$500Permitted stock to disturb the bed of a drainAshburton
Makoni,Kofe23/11/2016$300Outdoor fire in a residential areaTimaru
Ackroyd,Leam Michael Joseph11/11/2016$500Depositing domestic rubbish on the Opihi river bedTemuka
MFS Ventures Ltd19/10/2016$750Breach of an abatement notice, permitted stock to access the riverbedHakataramea
Crosbie,Dean Raymond14/10/2016$300Burning of contaminants, namely but not limited to wire, plastics, car engine parts, and general rubbishChristchurch
Payne, Mark Kenneth6/10/2016$750Dumping of waste including, but not limited to a blue Subaru utility vehicle, tyres, car seats, tarpaulin, at the Temuka sewerage treatment pondsTemuka
Van de Klundert, Jos6/10/2016$500Permitted stock to disturb the bed of an unnamed stream that flows into the Porter RiverArthurs Pass
Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass Ltd6/10/2016$500Permitted stock to disturb the bed of an unnamed stream, which feeds into the Waimakariri RiverArthurs Pass
Benkris Farms Ltd25/09/2016$500You abstracted water prior to receiving acceptance of an Adaptive Management AssessmentBurnham
Alpine View Developments Ltd20/09/2016$300Burning of contaminantsSpringfield
Gilbert, Stephen9/09/2016$300Burning contaminantsChristchurch
Jersey Land Dairies Ltd2/09/2016$300Burning contaminantsWaikuku
Alpine View Developments LtdBetween 01/09/2016 & 20/09/2016$300Burning of contaminantsSpringfield
Jarvis-Li, Michael Robert27/08/2016$750Discharge of sediment-laden water to storm water systemCass Bay
Jarvis-Li, Michael Robert27/08/2016$500Discharge of sediment-laden water to storm water systemCass Bay
Juice Products New Zealand LtdBetween 12/08/2016 and 13/08/2016$1,000Discharge of AC300 nitric and phosphoric concentrated acid, from an industiral/trade premises onto land and subsequently into a storm water systemTimaru
Juice Products New Zealand LtdBetween 12/08/2016 and 13/08/2016$1,000Discharge of AC300 nitric and phosphoric concentrated acid onto land, namely the CIP (clean in place) kitchenTimaru
McIntyre, Douglas RobertBetween 08/08/2016 and 29/08/2016$500Permitted stock to disturb the bed of the Waterwheel wetlandsTwizel
Proctor, Mathew Lee30/07/2016$750Discharge of engine oil and degreaser, onto land and subsequently into the Christchurch City Council's storm water systemChristchurch
Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd29/07/2016$1,000Discharge of cement to storm water systemTimaru
Henderson, James14/07/2016$300Burning vegetation, objectionable or offensive effect beyond the property boundaryWaikuku
Combe, James12/07/2016$300Burning contaminantsChristchurch
McNaughton, Malcolm Duncan12/07/2016$300Burning vegetation during winter in the Clean Air ZoneChristchurch
Southbase Construction Ltd6/07/2016$750Discharge of concrete slurry to storm water systemChristchurch
Solvent Rescue Ltd4/07/2016$1,000Discharge of an odour from the processing of waste material from an indistrial/trade premises which was objectionable beyond the property boundary CRC120945 condition 8Christchurch
Holloway Builders Ltd1/07/2016$750Discharge of sediment-laden water to storm water systemCharteris Bay