13 Sep 2011

Big fines for Northland dairy farmers

2:54 pm on 13 September 2011

Breaching dairy effluent rules has cost two Northland farm owners a total of more than $50,000.

Far North farmer Anton Joseph Schluter has been fined $25,000 for effluent discharges on to land and into a tributary of the Aurere Stream from his farm near Kaitaia.

James Dodunski of JDK Farms has been fined $26,000 for dairy effluent offences on a farm he owns at Maungakaramea, southwest of Whangarei

Both farmers admited the charges laid by Northland Regional Council, which prosecuted the pair after repeated warnings about their inadequate effluent management.

Environment Court judge Laurie Newhook, who imposed the fines, noted that the regional council had worked with Mr Schluter for 10 years, advising him that his treatment ponds were inadequate.

The council had issued him with five abatement notices and five infringement notices over that time.

Mr Newhook says the council had given repeated warnings about poor effluent management in the other case, and issued one abatement and five infringement notices over eight years.

The judge said that since the offending, JDK Farms had spent about $60,000 improving its effluent system.