Failing to check river levels has proved costly for a Canterbury farm company which has been fined for drawing groundwater for irrigation during a restriction period.
Cambria Farms has been fined nearly $10,000 for extracting groundwater for irrigation on a Flaxmere property outside consent conditions.
It took water on two occasions when restrictions were in place, in 2010.
Judge Jon Jackson said company directors knew how to check the Canterbury Regional Council's estimate of the flow in the Hinds River, but did not do so.
He said mitigating factors included the company's lack of wilful intent, and immediate co-operation with the council to stop irrigating.