Bay of Plenty Regional Council says the conviction of a Maori Incorporation for unlawfully discharging effluent from a dairy farm into a nearby waterway, was entirely preventable.
Orete Incorporation was fined $45,000 plus costs in the Whakatane District Court on Wednesday, for polluting a stream near Waihau Bay.
The council's pollution prevention manager Nick Zaman says if all dairy farmers did regular checks on their equipment which spray effluent onto pastures, there'd be no illegal pollution and no prosecutions.
He says the council can't be certain how long the discharge of effluent into the Tauranga stream went on for, but irrigation equipment on the dairy farm wasn't checked for at least a week.
Mr Zaman says members of the public are doing a valuable job by contacting the council about possible unlawful discharges of dairy effluent.