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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
An interim enforcement order is similar to an enforcement order and is used in circumstances where the need for the order is urgent.
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.
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.
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.
|Date Issued||Details||Activity||Requirement||Location||Comply By|
|28/03/2017||Rutherford, Jon Scott||Works in Waterways||Cease & continue to cease disturbing the bed of river by excavation or cultivation||Waiau||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|27/03/2017||Bennett, Lee||Discharge to air - rural||Cease & continue to cease discharge of contaminants into air from burning||Turners Rd, Ouruhia||
Continuing Abatement Notice
|08/03/2017||LeRoy, Michael Benny (Director)||Land use||Remove all end of life tyres in any form||Racecourse Rd, Amberley||08/03/2017|
|22/02/2017||LeRoy, Michael Benny (Director)||Land use||Cease the discharge of contaminants namely tyres in any form onto land. Cease storage, receiving, and depositing of tyres||Racecourse Rd, Amberley||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|22/02/2017||LeRoy, Michael Benny||Land use||Cease the discharge of contaminants namely tyres in any form onto land. Cease storage, receiving, and depositing of tyres||Racecourse Rd, Amberley||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|22/02/2017||Hislop, Warren Miller||Land use||Cease the discharge of contaminants namely tyres in any form onto land. Cease storage, receiving, and depositing of tyres||Racecourse Rd, Amberley||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|22/02/2017||Tyre Recycling Services NZ Ltd||Land use||Racecourse Rd, Amberley||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|22/02/2017||Clark, Melodie Anne Merrie||Land use||Racecourse Rd, Amberley||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|22/02/2017||2016 Tyre Shredding Ltd||Land use||Racecourse Rd, Amberley||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|22/02/2017||Bendon, Peter George||Land use||Racecourse Rd, Amberley||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|22/02/2017||Jamison Investments Ltd||Land use||Racecourse Rd, Amberley||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|21/02/2017||Haka Valley Irrigation Ltd CRC132165||Water take - surface||Do 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 CRC132165||Hakataramea River||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|15/02/2017||Geoff Wallace Holdings Ltd CRC080770||Dairy||Cease 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 sealed||Tawai Ikawai Rd, Ikawai||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|09/02/2017||Haka Valley Irrigation Ltd CRC132165||Water take - surface||Do not undertake the taking of water under CRC132165 to supply properties that do not meet the requirements of condition 18 of that consent||Hakataramea River||Continuing Abatement Notice to 14/03/2020|
|09/02/2017||Deltop Dairy Ltd CRC136761||Dairy||Cease & continue to cease application of dairy shed effluent that does not comply with CRC136761||Morven Beach Rd, Waimate||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|01/02/2017||South Canterbury By-Products (2009) Ltd CRC070698||Discharge to air - industrial||Cease discharge to air, condition 21 CRC070698 beyond the external boundary||Washdyke||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|18/01/2017||WHL Devondale Ltd CRC135958||Dairy||Cease and continue to cease ponding of effluent||Temuka||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|09/01/2017||Bowan, Mr J R & Mrs, Simpson Mr T M CRC082926.3||Water take - bore||Carry out a verification test
Submit a copy of the verification test
|Farm Road, Coopers Creek||28/02/2017|
|09/01/2017||Vincent, Brian & Bachelor, Murray||Discharge to air - industrial||Cease and continue to cease discharging sawdust into air||Jellicoe Road, Timaru||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|23/12/2016||Fallgate Farm Ltd CRC970934||Water take - bore||Carry out a verification test on the water measuring device
Submit a copy of the verification test K38/0663
|Stewart Road, Orari||28/02/2017|
|22/12/2016||Dewhirst Land Company Ltd CRC168563||Works in Waterways||Cease & continue to cease, any and all works within the bed of the Selwyn River contrary to CRC168563 and/or contrary to Section 13 RMA||Selwyn River||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|21/12/2016||Baggott, Mr B L, McKay, Ms C E CRC990910.4||Discharge of contaminants to water||Do not discharge diluted dairy effluent to land which may enter water, and resulting in ponding||57 Garterys Rd, Rangiora||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|21/12/2016||Baggott, Mr Lyn CRC990910.4||Discharge of contaminants to water||Do not discharge diluted dairy effluent to land, water, resulting in ponding||57 Garterys Rd, Rangiora||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|19/12/2016||Keilyn Farms Ltd CRC112012||Discharge of contaminants to water||Do not discharge contaminants, diluted dairy effluent, into water and that results in ponding||22 Aschens Rd, Ohoka||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|16/12/2016||Coughlan Contracting Ltd||Discharge of contaminants to land where it may enter water||
Cease and continue to cease, deposition of any material in, on or under the bed of the Chatterton River
|Chatterton Riverbed||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|08/12/2016||R & P McIntosh Ltd CRC142577||Water take - surface||Prohibited from taking surface water from point N33/0450 under CRC142577 Condition 3||Pahau River||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|25/11/2016||Nelson, Greg||Works in Waterways||Cease earthworks in th ebed of Sisters Creek||Sisters Creek||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|23/11/2016||Hurst Dairying Ltd CRC142705||Water take - bore||Prohibited the taking of water that does not comply with CRC142705 condition 2||Fernside Rd, Rangiora||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|23/11/2016|| Leonard, Patrick Joseph
|Water take - bore||Prohibited the taking of water from bore K38/1089 does not comply with condition 4 or 5 of CRC992497.2||Temuka Orari Highway||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|23/11/2016||Leonard, Gary Patrick CRC992497.2||Water take - bore||Prohibited from taking of water from bore K38/1089 that does not comply with CRC992497.2 conditions 4 or 5||Temuka Orari Highway||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|21/11/2016||White Gold Ltd CRC951216.1||Water take - bore||Cease 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 CRC951216.1||Ellesmere Junction Rd, Selwyn||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|17/11/2016||Riches, Mr & Mrs B L & S E Riches CRC061511||Water take - bore||
Prohibited from taking water that exceeds daily volume CRC061511 condition 4 L36/0593
|Leeston Dunsandel Rd, Killinchy||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|07/11/2016||Alfeld, Mr M D & Mrs L T CRC156839||Water take - bore||
"Do not undertake, the taking of water from bore M36/4252
|Harmans Rd, Leeston||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|07/11/2016||The Trustees of the Estate of Vicki Anne Cowan CRC156839||Water take - bore||
You must not undertake, the taking of water from bore M36/4252, condition 2 CRC156839
|Harmans Rd, Leeston||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|03/11/2016||Demeter Fields Ltd CRC151322||Water take - bore||Prohibited from taking water from Oakdale Stream K38/2083 K38:9329-7079 CRC151322 condition 3||Oakdale Stream||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|02/11/2016||Wade, Christopher Donald CRC030884.1||Water take - bore||Prohibited to take water bore M35/5937 CRC030884.1 that does not comply with condition 3||Coldstream Rd, Rangiora||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|28/10/2016||Bagrie, Peter Dale & Anne Gayle CRC000085.1||Water take - surface||Cease and continue to cease the taking of water M35/11232||Bradleys Rd, Ohoka||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|28/10/2016||Terracostosa Limited CRC168335||Water take - bore||Cease 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 group||Ridge Rd, Selwyn||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|28/10/2016||Coles, Mr & Mrs B C & M A CRC011085||Land use||Cease & continue to cease taking water until a water meter is installed||Main Sth Rd, Christchurch||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|18/10/2016||Lancaster, Murray Gordon||Water take - bore||Unauthorised abstraction of water M36/3964||Ellesmere Junction Rd, Selwyn District||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|27/09/2016||Fohn Limited||Storm water||Cease & continue to cease discharge of contaminants to land||Mariners Cove, Cass Bay||Continuing abatement notice|
|28/09/2016||Benkris Farm Limited CRC111076.2||Water take - bore||Cease & continue to cease abstraction of water from Bores M36/7760 & M36/20625 until an adaptive management assessment has been submitted||Burnham School Road, Selwyn||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|27/09/2016||Jarvis-Li, Michael Robert||Storm water||Cease and continue to cease discharge to water||Mariners Cove, Cass Bay||Continuing abatement notice|
|31/08/2016||Stuart Tarbotton Contractors Limited CRC143195||Works in Waterways||Cease excavating gravel, sand, and other natural material that does not comply with CRC143195||Ashburton River||Continuing abatement notice|
|18/08/2016||MFS Ventures Ltd||Stock in waterways||Cease 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 River||Hakataramea Valley Rd, Hakataramea||Continuing Abatement Notice|
|18/08/2016||Solvent Rescue Limited CRC120945||Discharge to air - industrial||Cease discharge of contaminants to air which is offensive or objectionable beyond the boundary||Coleridge St, Christchurch||Continuing Abatement 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.
|Name of offender||Incident Date||Amount||Incident||Location|
|South Canterbury By-Products (2009) Ltd||23/02/2017||$750||Contravention of an abatement notice, objectionable odour beyond property boundary||Washdyke|
|South Canterbury By-Products (2009) Ltd||23/02/2017||$1000||Offensive & objectionable odour beyond property boundary CRC070700||Washdyke|
|South Canterbury By-Products (2009) Ltd||10/02/2017||$750||Contravention of an abatement notice, objectionable odour beyond property boundary||Washdyke|
|South Canterbury By-Products (2009) Ltd||10/02/2017||$1000||Offensive & objectionable odour beyond property boundary CRC070698||Washdyke|
|Twiss, Julian||11/01/2017||$500||Permitted stock access to the riverbed of the L1||Lincoln|
|Schrider, Brent Thomas||13/01/2017||$750||Ponding of effluent||Temuka|
|WHL Devondale Ltd||13/01/2017||$750||Ponding of effluent||Temuka|
|Metro Advances Ltd||07/12/2016||$750||Discharge of paint wash into a sump connected to the Christchurch City Council storm water network||Christchurch|
|Melhopt, Jared||05/12/2016||$300||Burning metal scraps, cans, insulation material||Ohoka|
|Rushbrook Farm Ltd||26/10/2016||$300||Burning prohibited materials in a farm pit||Doyleston|
|29/11/2016||$500||Permitted stock to disturb the bed of a drain||Ashburton|
|23/11/2016||$300||Outdoor fire in a residential area||Timaru|
Leam Michael Joseph
|11/11/2016||$500||Depositing domestic rubbish on the Opihi river bed||Temuka|
|MFS Ventures Ltd||19/10/2016||$750||Breach of an abatement notice, permitted stock to access the riverbed||Hakataramea|
|14/10/2016||$300||Burning of contaminants, namely but not limited to wire, plastics, car engine parts, and general rubbish||Christchurch|
|Payne, Mark Kenneth||06/10/2016||$750||Dumping of waste including, but not limited to a blue Subaru utility vehicle, tyres, car seats, tarpaulin, at the Temuka sewerage treatment ponds||Temuka|
|Van de Klundert, Jos||06/10/2016||$500||Permitted stock to disturb the bed of an unnamed stream that flows into the Porter River||Arthurs Pass|
|Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass Ltd||06/10/2016||$500||Permitted stock to disturb the bed of an unnamed stream, which feeds into the Waimakariri River||Arthurs Pass|
|Benkris Farms Ltd||25/09/2016||$500||You abstracted water prior to receiving acceptance of an Adaptive Management Assessment||Burnham|
|Alpine View Developments Ltd||20/09/2016||$300||Burning of contaminants||Springfield|
|Gilbert, Stephen||09/09/2016||$300||Burning contaminants||Christchurch|
|Jersey Land Dairies Ltd||02/09/2016||$300||Burning contaminants||Waikuku|
|Alpine View Developments Ltd||Between 01/09/2016 & 20/09/2016||$300||Burning of contaminants||Springfield|
|Jarvis-Li, Michael Robert||27/08/2016||$750||Discharge of sediment-laden water to storm water system||Cass Bay|
|Jarvis-Li, Michael Robert||27/08/2016||$500||Discharge of sediment-laden water to storm water system||Cass Bay|
|Juice Products New Zealand Ltd||Between 12/08/2016 and 13/08/2016||$1,000||Discharge of AC300 nitric and phosphoric concentrated acid, from an industiral/trade premises onto land and subsequently into a storm water system||Timaru|
|Juice Products New Zealand Ltd||Between 12/08/2016 and 13/08/2016||$1,000||Discharge of AC300 nitric and phosphoric concentrated acid onto land, namely the CIP (clean in place) kitchen||Timaru|
|McIntyre, Douglas Robert||Between 08/08/2016 and 29/08/2016||$500||Permitted stock to disturb the bed of the Waterwheel wetlands||Twizel|
|Proctor, Mathew Lee||30/07/2016||$750||Discharge of engine oil and degreaser, onto land and subsequently into the Christchurch City Council's storm water system||Christchurch|
|Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd||29/07/2016||$1000||Discharge of cement to storm water system||Timaru|
|Henderson, James||14/07/2016||$300||Burning vegetation, objectionable or offensive effect beyond the property boundary||Waikuku|
|Combe, James||12/07/2016||$300||Burning contaminants||Christchurch|
|McNaughton, Malcolm Duncan||12/07/2016||$300||Burning vegetation during winter in the Clean Air Zone||Christchurch|
|Southbase Construction Ltd||06/07/2016||$750||Discharge of concrete slurry to storm water system||Christchurch|
|Solvent Rescue (1999) Ltd||04/07/2016||$1,000||Discharge of an odour from the processing of waste material from an indistrial/trade premises which was objectionable beyond the property boundary CRC120945 condition 8||Christchurch|
|Holloway Builders Ltd||01/07/2016||$750||Discharge of sediment-laden water to storm water system||Charteris Bay|