Environmental offences can be serious criminal offences under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). Individuals can be imprisoned for up to two years and fined up to $200,000. Companies can be fined up to $600,000.
Environment Canterbury has a number of options ranging from a verbal warning, right through to applying to the Environment Court for an enforcement order and/or prosecution.
It is important to contact Environment Canterbury as soon as possible if you notice an activity which has the potential for environmental harm. Incidents are referred to officers who will determine the most appropriate response.
We make every effort to respond to customers who report incidents. In some cases, we are unable to due to the information being provided anonymously. Our investigations can take time to complete and for legal reasons we may not be able to share the details of enforcement action being pursued.
Infringement notices are suitable for responding quickly to relatively minor offences that do not warrant prosecution.
When an alleged offence is classified as an infringement, it requires the payment of a fine but without the record of a conviction. The fines, which are set by regulation, range from $300 to $1000.
All offenders who receive infringement notices are published on our website for 12 months.
An infringement notice may be issued later where appropriate at the officer's discretion, even if the occupier was not there for the visit or was unco-operative.