4 Aug 2015

Buttermilk stink: Fonterra sorry for 'discomfort, pain and misery'

9:48 am on 4 August 2015

Fonterra has apologised for the "discomfort, pain and misery" it caused the people of Eltham affected by the rotting buttermilk stink in the town.

Fonterra building

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

The dairy company dumped three million litres of dairy waste in the Eltham wastewater plant in October 2013, creating a stink that lingered for months.

Some residents claimed the stench caused them health problems.

Fonterra was fined $192,000 for its role in the debacle when it appeared for sentencing in the Environment Court in New Plymouth yesterday.

The company's lawyer Jason Sandford told the court Fonterra was "very sorry" for its role and fully accepted responsibility for the foul smell.

Mr Sandford said Fonterra had not been prepared for the oversupply of milk it faced in 2013 and had since invested $50m across the country to ensure the situation never occurred again.

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