3 Jul 2015

Fonterra to review buttermilk decision

2:24 pm on 3 July 2015

Fonterra will review the judge's written decision on the Eltham buttermilk case, before making a decision on any appeal.

Fonterra building

The Fonterra headquarters on Princes St in central Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Fonterra has been found guilty for its role in the Eltham buttermilk stink debacle after a trial in the Environment Court in New Plymouth.

The court heard that Fonterra asked the South Taranaki District Council to help it dispose of 8 million litres of excess milk in September 2013.

It then arranged a subsequent dumping, of three million litres of buttermilk waste and 150,000 litres of milk contaminated with oil waste, in the covered pond at the town's wastewater plant between 2 and 28 October.

The discharge was cut short as complaints about odour had already begun.

In court, Judge Brian Dwyer said Fonterra dumped a monumental amount of material, which was the most significant contributing factor leading to the stench that plagued Eltham for several months.

Judge Dwyer said the dairy company could not put all of the blame onto the South Taranaki District Council which runs the plant.

Fonterra said it took its responsibilities under the Resource Management Act very seriously. It will be sentenced on 3 August.

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